To say Black Girls Rock is in no way saying other girls don't. But, other girls have always been very aware of their history, their roots and how they've contributed to civilization. See other girls historically have been celebrated and lauded for their beauty while the little black girl was mocked, raped, objectified and taught to fight and hate the image staring back at her. Little black girls young and old didn’t always get a chance to study and celebrate their history and learn of their royal lineage. She many times is unaware that her rich history began well before America’s enslavement of her people. So, yes Black Girls Rock and we must remind them because they forgot and sometimes were never told. And we will keep reminding them until they no longer forget and excellence is the standard.
Beverly Bond founded Black Girls Rock as an affirmation to all black girls of their value, their worth, their contribution and the very real abilities they possess as phenomenal black girls. The platform was created “to honor the many amazing women of our past and present whose unique leadership, strength, resolve, wisdom, talent and spirituality catalyzed the advancement of humanity, and yet often are uncelebrated or go under the radar in mainstream media and history.” I humbly accepted the invitation to the 5th Annual Black Girls Rock awards show taping not fully comprehending the magnificent splendor I would witness – it was that serious! Very few times in my life have I been rendered speechless (I’ve been a wordsmith from a small child – drove my mother crazy), however watching the manifestation of Bond’s dream as our FLOTUS proudly announced and affirmed, “Black Girls Rock!” I was left utterly speechless.
I was speechless not simply because Mrs. Michelle Obama challenged us to live life on our own terms according to our own scripts; or because of the profound insight of living legend Cicely Tyson as she explained, “No one would bother to put you down if you were not a threat to them; and no not even because honoree Principal Nadia Lopez dared us all to start the first protest in our homes and show up for our children beyond career day and graduation. I was rendered speechless because of the spectrum of brilliance, influence and magnificence that represents black women and girls! As Ava Duvernay hailed the names of the uncelebrated black women directors she reminded us to be fully present when we walk into a room because we are the leading ladies. Dr. Helene Gayle urged us to use our big mouth and even bigger brains all the while remembering the words of Jada Pinkett-Smith, “You want people to treat you like a queen you have to act like it.” And while we flaunt our queen-ness Erykah Badu encouraged us to always visit our doctors: Dr. Sun, Dr. Exercise, Dr. Nutrition and Dr. You.
We have come a long way and we boldly and unapologetically marched from cotton fields into the fields of medicine, entertainment, law and even the White House. And with the march, Mrs. Obama emphasized, “No one just blinds their way from success to success. Challenges and failures are necessary components to success. Those hard times shape you into the person you're meant to be! Each doubt is a test and you can decide to rise up or shrink away. Decide each and every time to rise.”
Fully embrace exactly who you are! Your self-esteem is just that – YOURS! Let no one cheapen your self-worth or cloud your definition. You are the principle and commander of your ship and you are to give no one else your power. So to all my young and old little black girls remember you are beautiful, you are magical and you rock! Don’t miss the Black Girls Rock award show hosted by Tracee Ellis-Ross and Regina King this Sunday, April 5 at 7/6 Central on Bet (check your local listings for specific channels). Share this to show your support and belief in #BlackGirlsRock!