Last night, BET aired the 2012 Black Girls Rock awards hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King. From the Bronx, New York, presenters honored the achievements of women of color who are rising stars and veteran trendsetters in entertainment, culture and more. The creator of the non-profit foundation Black Girls Rock, Beverly Bond, has been honoring outstanding women of color for years before collaborating with BET to produce the first star-studded award ceremony back in 2006. Ms. Bond founded Black Girls Rock to empower young women of color and to introduce them to music, poetry and theater.
The Black Girls Rock, Inc. awards show was full of exciting performances from Alicia Keys, Brandy, Keyshia Cole, Ciara and Missy Elliot and more. One of the most touching moments came when Janelle Monae graced the stage to accept the “Young, Black and Gifted” award of the night. In her own words:
“When I started my music career, I was a maid. I used to clean houses. My mother was a proud janitor. My stepfather, who raised me like his very own, worked at the post office and my father was a trashman. They all wore uniforms and that’s why I stand here today, in my black and white, and I wear my uniform to honor them.
This is a reminder that I have work to do. I have people to uplift. I have people to inspire. And today, I wear my uniform proudly as a Cover Girl. I want to be clear, young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Cover Girl. I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness.”
Two women who took the stage after a bit of a hiatus from the music industry are Missy Elliot and Brandy. With the release of Brandy’s new album 211 making its debut at number one on the R&B charts, she has returned to the music scene stronger than ever.
Missy Elliot has always been known for her innovative style both as a five-time Grammy Award winning solo artist and behind the scenes as celebrated producer and writer. Her return to the stage was with Ciara for their collaboration, “One Woman Army.”
If you didn’t catch all of the performances from the Black Girls Rock, Inc. awards show, be sure to check your local guide for repeat times and tune into BET to relive all the awards, celebrations and honors presented to our women of color.
Janelle Monae’s acceptance speech
Ciara and Missy Elliot’s performance
Brandy’s “Wildest Dreams”