Beverly Bond, founder of the women empowerment organization Black Girls Rock, finally broke her silence and addressed the backlash of some Americans concerning the show that highlights young Black women and its place on national TV. Last month, when “Black Girls Rock” aired and trended on Twitter, several Black men and white women banded together to create the #whitegirlsrock hashtag as a means to protest the exclusivity of the show. They challenged the title complaining that if there were to be a #WhiteGirlsRock that the Black nation would cry out racism.
Bond took to The Root.com and revealed her thoughts about the backlash stating that,
” I started Black Girls Rock! to honor the many amazing women of our past and present whose unique leadership, strength, resolve, wisdom, talent and spirituality has catalyzed the advancement of humanity, yet who are often left uncelebrated or have gone under the radar in mainstream media and history. The affirmation Black Girls Rock! does not mean other girls don’t rock, nor is Black Girls Rock! an ornamental phrase used to cloak ourselves in vanity. Saying that we rock is a response to the tremendous neglect that Black girls feel when they grow up in a society, or, as Mara Brock Akil said in her 2013 Black Girls Rock! acceptance speech, “Where they grow up in a home where their picture is not on the wall.”
After setting things straight about the purpose and mission of the show, Bond directly addressed the controversy stating, “It’s insulting and quite nervy for a social media mob to attack a platform that affirms positive images of Black women and girls in an attempt to belittle a movement that uplifts and celebrates our lives and legacies—yet to also remain silent about the plethora of damaging media messages directed toward Black women and to blatantly ignore the social issues that Black people endure.”
It’s great that Bond defended the mission of her organization, as it is a positive movement amongst women and people of color. Despite the feedback, Bond stands strong behind her organization, stating,
“The show Black Girls Rock!, which airs on BET, salutes those who stood on the frontlines and who endured unfathomable horrors while fighting for liberation. We celebrate the women warriors, past and present, who are crusaders for justice and champions of our people, our communities, our families, our race and our gender. And like the dynamic legends of our past, I know Black girls will continue to rock because, as Iyanla Vanzant said in her 2010 Black Girls Rock! Awards acceptance speech, ‘We have no other choice!’ All are welcome to take part in this celebration of our history and our contributions to mankind, but know that our empowerment does not limit your own power, purpose, potential or worth. There is enough room for all of us to rock together.”