Beverly Bond founded Black Girls Rock! in 2006 to celebrate, empower and uplift black women of color. It reinforces community service, academic excellence, health and wellness. This fall’s award show honored various women who are dedicating their lives to making a difference, from young girls to legendary musicians.
Last month, when “Black Girls Rock” aired and trended on Twitter, several black men and white women banded together to create the #whitegirlsrock hashtag.
They used the rationale that if a “White Girls Rock,” show or hashtag was ever created, it would be considered racist.
As a humanist, I believe that we all rock. My issue is that the commentary that followed the “#whitegirlsrock” hashtag was not even about affirming dynamic white women. Instead, it was about critiquing or even punishing black women for having the nerve, the audacity and the unmitigated gall to love and affirm ourselves!
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.
I started Black Girls Rock! because the overwhelming social disparities within black communities and the toxic media messages targeted toward our youth has yielded a generation of black girls crippled by a lack of critical literacy, self-worth and positive identity development. I started Black Girls Rock! because I knew that we needed to hold our sheroes up as shining examples of excellence so that future generations of girls can continue to see positive role models who are proof of the dynamic women that they can also become.
Sadly, even when it’s all said and done, there will still be detractors who will hear what Bond is saying, but still refuse to listen.