Ruby Dee and Black Girls Rock

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Was the first ever televised tribute to black women, celebrating the lives, work and influence of black women in the media’s eye.

The list of sheroes honoured during the show included Ruby Dee, Missy Elliot, Keke Palmer, Iyanla Vanzant, Teresa Clarke, Major General Marcelite Harris and was hosted by Nia Long.

Beverly Bond (Founder, CEO and Executive Producer of BLACK GIRLS ROCK!) had this to say, “This historic partnership with BET marks the beginning of an empowerment movement for women of color across the globe because Black Girls Rock all over the world.” And she continued, “Our girls are not being told how amazing they really are or how amazing they really can be. It is time that we start telling them. It is time that we start shouting out to the entire world that ‘We’ Black Girls Rock!”

Young, black and gifted

Awards were handed out through the evening and acceptance speeches promoted empowerment to young black women, such as Raven-Symone who upon accepting her Young, Black & Gifted Award said, “It’s up to us as females to open doors for other females like the other legends sitting here tonight.”

Former TLC star Missy Elliot (group member with Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes who was killed in a car crash in 2002) received the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to her by one of her closest friends Ciara.

The show honoured some of the most inspiring and influential women in their fields from entertainers to business entrepreneurs and the award winners truly captured the spirit of their genre.

Dr. Iyanla Vanzant, who recieved the Motivator Award, said “Black girls rock, because we have no other choice. We have a responsibility to rock the world, rock the community and rock the planet so our grandmothers will know that they did not die in vain.” That inspired speech brought her a standing ovation.

Other celebrants included Teresa Clarke, founder of Africa.com, who was given the Shot Caller Award for her persistence in trying to change the way Africa is presented in the media.

Major General Marcelite J. Harris, the highest ranking woman officer in the Air Force picked up the Trailblazer Award.

The iconic Ruby Dee was awarded the Living Legend Award and said “It’s times like these that I come to understand and appreciate profoundly the empowerment and promise, the responsibility in being deemed a legend.”

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Read about more legendary black icons including Halle Berry,  James Phelps, Gregory Isaacs,  Naomi Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg and Jimi Hendrix.

images: deevazquez.com, martinipink.com