Let’s go Rih Rih!
Music superstar Rihanna received the President’s Award at this year’s 2020 NAACP Image Awards, making a much needed call to action during her acceptance speech for allies and unity.
The President’s Award is one of the highest honors a person can receive from the NAACP and over the weekend, that honor was bestowed on the 32-year-old Barbadian business mogul. Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP issued a statement saying Rihanna was receiving the award for her “groundbreaking career as an artist and musician, [and for] distinguishing herself as a stellar public servant,” CNN reports.
“From her business achievements through Fenty, to her tremendous record as an activist and philanthropist, Rihanna epitomizes the type of character, grace, and devotion to justice that we seek to highlight in our President’s Award,” Johnson added.
During her acceptance speech this weekend, Rihanna thanked the NAACP for always honoring the “strength and tenacity” of Black and brown people who have been “denied opportunities since the beginning of time.”
She went on to address the importance of unifying, making a call to allies of the movement, saying it’s not just a woman’s problem or Black people problem, or poor people problem, emphasizing that no one issue is isolated.
“How many of us in the room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? Well then, they want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem too. So when we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown Jr.s and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up.”
Rihanna then said that it was through her work with her nonprofit that she realized how important it is to come together to do the work. “I’m lucky I was able to start the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that we can only fix this world together. We can’t do it divided. I cannot emphasize that enough. We can’t let the desensitivity seep in.”
Leave it to Rihanna to come with a word. You can check out her full speech below.
Thank you Rihanna.
Photo Courtesy of Rich Fury/Getty Images