Black Girl Magic on Black Girls Rock! 2016


NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - APRIL 01: (L-R) Celebrants Rihanna, Shonda Rhimes, Gladys Knight, Danai Gurira, Beverly Bond, Tracee Ellis Ross, Debra Lee, Amanda Steinberg, Alicia Garza and Opall Tometi take the stage at the end of the Black Girls Rock! 2016 show at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on April 1, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Brian Killian/Getty Images)

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Let's catch you up on last night's Black Girls Rock awards ceremony--whether you saw it or not, there are some important events that we need to go over (again)!

This year’s awards ceremony took place in Newark at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). The ceremony was hosted by ABC’s Black-ish star and overall Black girl fav: Tracee Ellis Ross who kept us all in great spirits with her performance renditions of artists such as Beyonce and even her mother, Diana Ross.

Tracee Ellis Ross_bet_com

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Honorees included Rihanna, Gladys Knight, Amandla Stenberg, Shonda Rhimes, Danai Gurira, and Black Lives Matter founders: Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi The BLM founders had the honor of receiving the Community Change Agent award.

Gladys Knight received the Living Legend award and performed a brief medley of her hit songs. Meanwhile, The Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg received the Young and Gifted Award for her consistent outspokenness about social injustices and appropriation. Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead actress and playwright, was awarded the Star Power award.


Meanwhile, acts like Brandy, Jazmine Sullivan, Marsha Ambrosius, Monica, Corrine Bailey Rae, Adra Day, and Lauryn Hill graced  the stage with wonderful performances.


Former Secretary of State and Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton, also made an appearance stating that Black women are, “change makers, path makers, and ground shakers.” She then introduced Black Girls Rock! founder and executive producer, Beverly Bond.


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Later, Debbie Allen introduced television powerhouse, Shonda Rhimes, with her Shot Caller award. Rhimes, who had her daughter in attendance said “The minute someone starts giving you awards, you are more history  than future. Your slates are blank. Your paths are clear and your stories are whatever you decide they’re gonna be.”  

Rihanna--in all her fur realness-- was the final honoree, receiving the Rock Star award. The singer and philanthropist thanked her mother and grandmother, stating that, “role model is the the title they like to give me, but...I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle.”


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Thanks to Black Girls Rock! Inc. women and young girls can get a great sense of representation and can be inspired to empower one another and start the dialogue to make changes in our communities. We have to recognize our beauty and ingenuity and just be the the fly girls we are. Remember, like Rihanna said, "All girls rock, black girls, we're just on another level."



Watch some of the attendees and honorees answer a few questions on the red carpet as to why they feel Black girls rock!

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