“Black Girls Rock!” aired Sunday on BET to millions of viewers. The show was decidedly positive and uplifting. It promised to celebrate the beauty, strength, grace and tenacity of black women, and it delivered. From the themes of sisterhood and good will to the riveting performances and inspirational speeches, here are four things we loved about the show:
1. There was a spirit of sisterhood.
The term sisterhood can sometimes be shallow and trite, but the spirit of companionship and fellowship at “Black Girls Rock!” was nothing short of genuine. We especially liked the camraderie and absence of competition between actresses and singers who work in the same industry. Taraji P. Henson and Kerry Washington lit up like old friends on the red carpet, and Alicia Keys praised India.Arie for playing the flute while accepting her award.
2. The speeches were powerful.
Speaking of acceptance speeches, the night was full of inspiring quotes as extraordinary women gave their acknowledgments. We loved the personal anecdotes like Janelle Monae’s heartfelt explanation for wearing her black and white “uniform” and Kerry Washington’s memorable line: “The night sky is never lit up by one star but by the billions of stars. Shine bright, black girls.”
3. Everyday women were honored.
“Black Girls Rock!” wasn’t just about celebrities. The program honored everyday women making a difference in their communities specifically in the “M.A.D.” (Making A Difference) Girls segments, including Yasmine Arrington who founded ScholarCHIPS and Tiffany Bender and Alize Beal of Y.U.N.G. Harlem. We also love that the women onscreen encouraged those watching to pay it forward. The organization’s founder, Beverly Bond, and “Inspiration” award winner, Susan Taylor, urged viewers to help women in their communities. Bond said: “We can’t just tell our girls that they rock. We have to show them how to rock.”
4. It incorporated men.
For the first time in “Black Girls Rock!” history, men graced the stage to honor black women. Idris Elba opened up by acknowledging our “strength, fortitude and beauty” before Anthony Hamilton, Eric Benet and Luke James serenaded the audience. It was great to see black men represented in a show that celebrated black women.