All Articles Tagged "Beverly Bond"
BGR Founder Beverly Bond Responds Mad White Folks About The First Lady Attending Black Girls Rock Awards
After BET aired the “Black Girls Rock” Award show, a slew of White people were not particularly happy about First Lady, Michelle Obama appearing and speaking at the program. And they expressed their concerns, mostly via social media. They sounded off under the First Lady’s Instagram page.
This happens every year with the award show, the criticism was just louder this year because of Mrs. Obama’s attendance. Well, Black Girls Rock founder, Beverly Bond, has been doing this for years. And just like last year, she had to address the critics. This year was no exception. In a recent interview with WBLS, see how she eloquently and righteously defended the First Lady’s decision to attend the show as well as the reason it exists in the first place.
About Mrs. Obama attending:
“I thought she’s a Black girl that rocks. Why wouldn’t she be there?”
About people saying the show is racist.
“There is a real blind spot when it comes to privilege in America and not understanding racism and the implications of that. It is very telling when people have no problem tuning into Black Entertainment Television but when they’re tuning in, they’re offended by Black Entertainment Television celebrating Black women. That says a lot about who’s really racist here. And the fact that there needs to be a Black Entertainment Television or a Black Girls Rock or an NAACP. These things came about because of our exclusion. That’s one of the reasons why they exist.
So I think it’s very telling about where we are with our race relations with people being comfortable enough to tune into BET, not concerned when the images were not so stellar, never voicing their opinions about things that were degrading us or harming us. And to be offended by something that uplifts and empowers something that is an affirmation for young girls, that’s very telling.
If people really felt like it was about exclusion or “White Girls Rock Too” then they would have approached it differently. We know White Girls Rock, no one’s ever denied it. But to be offended that we have taken this issue of self esteem in our own hands…the many messages that are directed towards Black women and girls that tell us that we are not good enough, that we are not beautiful enough, that we are not deserving enough. There are so many messages in media from cosmetic ads to just being the leading lady opposite men who look like us.
And so this message has been going on for a very long time and for us to actually decide to say something and do something about it and people be offended, that’s like telling the slaves not to teach the kids to read. I think it’s really racist of them to be offended.
But what I did notice this year was women, of all nationalities but especially White women that jumped in and said to the other women who were offended, ‘How dare you? How dare you be offended by our sisters celebrating themselves?’ And I thought that that was amazing.
Bravo Beverly! You can watch Beverly Bond’s full interview, where she discusses a bit of the process to get the First Lady there, to the words of encouragement she shared with her and more in the video below.
Award shows are all about fashion and there’s nothing flyer than seeing happy couples walk red carpets together. Check out the most stylish celebrity couples on the 2014 BET Honors Red Carpet. Who’s your favorite?
Reverend Al Sharpton and Aisha McShaw
If you’ve been living under a rock, you may have missed the Rev’s beautiful young tenderoni Aisha. The two confirmed their relationship this past summer and stepped out at BET Honors showing they’re still going strong.
Last month we told you that #whitegirlsrock became a trending topic on Twitter during the airing of the annual Black Girls Rock! awards show. The shocking trend of racial commentary included comments like, If there were a #whitegirlsrock special on TV, it would be declared #racist. #politicallyincorrect #hypocrisy,” and “That #blackgirlsrock show is so racist. Where is the #whitegirlsrock show? Oh right, NAACP would be all over that.” Just plain ole’ foolery at its finest. Black Girls Rock founder, Beverly Bond, recently addresses the insulting hashtag in a blog post for The Root and well, she pretty much echoes how we’ve been feeling about this craziness all along.
“When I heard about the “#whitegirlsrock” hashtag that trended on Twitter, my immediate reaction was, ‘Well, duh! Of course white girls rock. Are they unaware?’ White women’s beauty, talent, diversity and worldly contributions are affirmed everywhere: on billboards, on television, in magazines and in textbooks,” Beverly began.
Though she admits that she had no real issue with #whitegirlsrock becoming a trending topic, what bothered her was the insulting commentary that came along with it.
“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!” she wrote.
Beverly adds that platforms such as Black Girls Rock! forces people to realize that things like white privilege do exist, which of course, causes “anxiety” and results in hurtful social media wars such as #whitegirlsrock.
“I also think the anxiety that people have about Black Girls Rock!-ing reveals the blind spots associated with white privilege, including the inability to acknowledge that the privilege actually exists, a lack of accountability for prejudices and an overwhelming deficit in cultural competency. So whoever is offended by Black Girls Rock!-ing and whoever thinks that black empowerment threatens their own power should confront their own racism.”
“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.”
Read Beverly’s full blog post at The Root. Thoughts?
Every year we find ourselves encouraged and inspired by the partnership between BET and the organization Black Girls Rock. The annual award show, which is being taped today, and will air on November 3, highlights the black women who leaving their mark in the world and inspiring other black girls and even us grown woman along the way. We caught up with the founder of Black Girls Rock, Beverly Bond, to talk to her about her role models as a child, why she started the organization and the impact it’s made so far.
MN: Who were the black women you looked up to as a child?
Beverly Bond: First, of course, my mother, my grandmother, the women within my family. I think those were the women that had the most influence on me. But my mother was also very conscious of making sure that we understood the contributions of black people and that we were aware of people like Shirley Chisholm. I’m a Sci-Fi junky so I loved the actress that played Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) something about her being in space was so progressive. As a kid, to see her in that role made me see possibilities. Angela Davis certainly. Many, many, many women inspired me. I don’t know if I was conscious that I was being inspired by so many, great black women.
At what point did you realize there was a need for Black Girls Rock?
I don’t know if I knew that there was a need for Black Girls Rock (BGR) because I didn’t come up with a sketch. But I knew that there was a void. I knew that there was a problem. Even from being a model, you go on go-sees and they would tell you, straight up, they already have their ‘black model.’ And I would always think, is that legal?! Can they say that?! And that was just something that always happened. But then when I became a DJ, I became more conscious about the content that was in music and entertainment. Being in the entertainment industry and watching the blatant sexism and the blatant degrading content in even sometimes of the people in the industry who were unaware of the messages that were being sent to our young girls, I kept thinking to myself how are our children ingesting these very toxic messages? How are our young girls relating to this?
As a grown woman, I can navigate through that space. I can deal with it. But what is happening to the minds of our children and our girls? How are they feeling about themselves hearing these messages that are degrading them or making them feel that they’re not pretty enough or beautiful enough or even important enough as all the other girls in the world or that the only way that they can be recognized for anything is if they are showing more than they need to and focusing only on their physical bodies and how sexual they can be. And then I thought also about boys and how this affects how they see women and girls and what that’s doing to those relationships. How are these girls and boys turning up in our community? They cannot be friends. These messages are not teaching them to be conscious of being good friends and having great relationships from a very early age. This kind of warps the perception in your mind from a very early age. And I thought that was just so dangerous. And when I came up with the idea for BGR, I knew that I had to use this– I don’t know if you know but this was originally just an idea for my t-shirt line. And I recognized quickly that the affirmation was just something that was so important. I realized that our girls and our children needed to have this affirming message in their lives. I guess that’s where I became more conscious about why it was necessary.
Our favorite award show is coming up next weekend and with the women slated to be honored at Black Girls Rock! 2013 we can tell there are some great things in store for this year’s ceremony.
The two-hour show will once again be hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King and will tape on Saturday, October 26 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center before making its network TV premiere on BET on Sunday, November 3 at 7pm EST. BET, in partnership with Beverly Bond, the creator of Black Girls Rock! announced that the following phenomenal women will be recognized this year for, well, rocking:
Patti Labelle: Living Legend Award
Queen Latifah: Rock Star Award
Mara Brock Akil: Shot Caller Award
Venus Williams: Star Power Award
Community organizer Ameena Matthews: Community Activist Award
Misty Copeland: Young, Gifted & Black Award
Children’s civil rights activist Marian Wright Edelman: Social Humanitarian Award
In a news release, Beverly Bond said of this year’s honorees:
“Each of the women, whom we are celebrating this year, epitomize the champion’s spirit as applicable to their respective fields. They are anchored by a fierce commitment to their craft or cause; they have shown the ability to navigate multiple sectors and industries successfully; and they are conscious about the role they play in enriching our society and culture. They absolutely Rock!”
We definitely agree. Will you be watching Black Girls Rock! 2013?
How My Black Is Beautiful’s “Imagine A Future” Documentary Proves The Cycle Of Self-Hate Can Be Broken
I’ve always had much respect for Proctor and Gamble’s “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign. After all it was started by six black women at the company and they do good work. And while the campaign seeks to uplift black women, I also realize it’s a way for P&G to continue to make money. Now, I’m not mad at them. We all want to make money. But since they are trying to make money, I’ll admit that I process their media differently than I would other P&G advertising. I’m constantly watching to make sure it’s still honest and that we, black women, aren’t being further exploited by another huge corporation.
And I can honestly say I haven’t seen that. The campaign has been run quite nicely. And that track record of fairness didn’t falter when they released a documentary entitled “Imagine a Future.”
Directed and produced by filmmaking heavy hitters like Lisa Cortes, Academy Award nominated for her producing role in Precious, directed by Shola Lynch, director of Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners and executive produced by “Black Girls Rock” founder Beverly Bond, the film had the right people behind the project.
And all of that came across in the story which follows Janet Goldsboro, a high school student who struggles with beauty and self esteem issues. Throughout the documentary we watch as Janet transforms when she visits South Africa to learn about the historical and societal context associated with being a black woman.
During her trip Janet learns about beauty standards that vary and are similar to the ones she’s been grown up with in the U.S. Her South African friend tells her that nobody wants to be skinny in South Africa but when she goes to the market, she sees how many places sell skin bleaching cream. There she learns about the earliest human ancestors, found in Africa and learns the tragic story of Sarah Baartman as she visited her gravesite.
After her trip to South Africa the change in Janet was visible. She went from a girl who was insecure about her looks and self confidence to a young woman who actively sought the standards of beauty that best matched her own. She started researching the history that was left out of her school’s curriculum so by knowing the truth of her past she could take pride in the young woman she is today.
Interspersed between Janet’s inspirational story, we hear black women like Gabourey Sidibe, Michaela Angela Davis, Tatyana Ali, Melissa Harris-Perry and Gabby Douglass talk about achieving their own self confidence and what makes them beautiful. It may sound cheesy but it was powerful. So powerful in fact that my mom leaned over to my sister and I and asked “why our black was beautiful?” We had to tell her not to ask the stranger sitting next to her because it really is a loaded question. The film really makes you think about your own levels of self confidence and beauty standards affect your everyday lives.
I walked out of the filming feeling hopeful and uplifted. Not to use one to tear down another but in many ways “Imagine A Future” filled the holes that “Dark Girls” didn’t. It talked about the lack of self esteem, the beauty standards many black women don’t meet but it also showed how that cycle can be broken. How these feelings don’t have to be permanent. And how, at the end of the day, we can be the solutions to our own insecurities.
Check out the trailer for the documentary on the next page.
Calling: Founder of “Black Girls Rock!”
Why we’re saluting her:
How could the woman behind “Black Girls Rock” not rock? Beverly Bond is a renowned DJ and model who became known for more than her spins around the NYC nightclub arena when she founded the movement, “Black Girls Rock!,” in 2006.
Though Bond always had a passion for music, she delayed her entry into the New York club scene because she felt is was too big of a responsibility to keep people dancing and having a good time all night as a DJ. So instead, Bond pursued the word of modeling at the age of 17 and immediately landed contracts with Elite New Faces and Wilhemina.
Bond posed for major brands like Diesel Jeans, Guess, and Nike in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and as the money came rolling in, so did the number of records she owned. When Bond’s regular record player broke, she bought a turntable just to have something to player her vinyl on, but when she actually gave mixing and scratching a try, she told Contemporary Black Biography she found out she was “kinda nice.”
Still running from her calling, Bond decided to pursue acting after her modeling career died down some, but rather than go the Hollywood route she seemed destined for, she finally admitted in 1999 she wanted to be a DJ, and a year later she became known as DJ Beverly Bond.
In just a year, Bond became an A-lister, spinning for Diddy and even Prince, traveling worldwide and making appearances with Musiq Soulchild and Erykah Badu, and landing spots on BET’s Rap City and NBC’s Weekend Vibe. A few years later, she began to not only play music, but also produce it. She also took to producing something else: award shows for Black girls.
Sensing that there were not enough positive Black role models for girls to look up to, Bond began a mentoring program to try to balance the scales. In 2006, that effort formerly became “Black Girls Rock,” and now the network she used to DJ for is broadcasting her award show on their station every year, with the support of star players like Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King. For pursuing her true calling and giving back to Black girls around the world at the same time, we salute Beverly Bond.
Click here to meet all of our salutes.
To celebrate her new book Profit With Purpose: A Marketer’s Guide to Delivering Purpose-Driven Campaigns to Multicultural Audiences, author and EGAMI Consulting Group founder Teneshia Jackson Warner teamed up with Dinner With Bevy‘s Bevy Smith for a dinner party/awards ceremony/”discotheque” (Smith’s word) at New York’s Beauty & Essex. The soiree was also focused on the cause-related work of the night’s honorees: P&G’s program My Black is Beautiful; Budget Fashionista and founder of digitalundivided (DID), Kathryn Finney; Black Girls Rock! founder Beverly Bond; celebrity stylist and host of ABC World News’ Cause Celeb with Phillip Bloch, Phillip Bloch; Disney’s Dreamers Academy, a program working in partnership with Essence and Steve Harvey to help high school students reach their career goals; and chef/reality TV star Chef Roble.
We’re going to have more from Warner about cause marketing and her book later this week. But the need for good works in the world is strong enough that we wanted to give the awards ceremony its own little shout out.
The 2012 Purpose Awards Dinner (#profitwithpurpose) was meant, according to the evening’s program, to celebrate with “a night of purpose” and “continue to drive the conversation.” The evening highlighted the social responsibility initiatives of the honorees, and the innovative approach with which they’re tackling their businesses, organizations, or passion projects.
When accepting his award, Bloch said, “When someone shines a light, we all shine a little brighter,” speaking to why it’s important for everyone to do what they can and then cheer that work to take it even further.
But before the accolades, one has to get started. In her acceptance speech, Bond said she only wanted to make a cool t-shirt when she started. Today, Black Girls Rock! has a televised awards ceremony that uplifts not just young girls, but women also.
When presenting the award, Warner thanked Bond for answering her calling. “We’re so happy that you said yes,” said Warner.
“We’re all connected and we’re all affected,” said Bond during her acceptance speech.
And if that wasn’t enough, there was good food, good music (Talib Kweli was DJing, with Bond jumping into the booth for a few minutes), and cocktails aplenty. Party with a purpose…
Black Girls Rock! (BGR) in partnership with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and P&G’s My Black is Beautiful campaign has launched the Imagine a Future Project, a program that, according to BGR founder Beverly Bond, will “empower and touch the lives of one million girls over the course of three years.” Through this program, there will be a national and regional (and perhaps worldwide) push to continue BGR’s philanthropic work with and on behalf of African-American girls.
As you probably know, Black Girls Rock! is the nonprofit organization dedicated to mentoring and uplifting black girls while also tackling issues associated with media depictions of black women and girls. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the organization per se, you likely recognize the name from the BET awards show that airs annually. No doubt, you’ve heard of the United Negro College Fund (“A mind is a terrible thing to waste”), which has been around for more than 40 years. And perhaps you know My Black is Beautiful because you’re friends with it on Facebook. The campaign has 761,000 Facebook likes, a website and tons of exposure through P&G’s promotion. The partnership was facilitated by PR and marketing firms Egami Consulting Group and MSLGroup. If you’re unfamiliar with Egami, click here to watch our She’s The Boss video with CEO Teneshia Jackson Warner.
Bring them together and you have a program that targets and supports black women and girls in their personal lives and public portrayals.
A Partnership Focused on African-American Women and Girls
P&G’s My Black is Beautiful sponsored BGR Queens’ Camp for Leadership and Excellence, a two-week program that took place this month and hosted 50 girls between the ages of 13 and 17. On August 1, those 50 girls made a trip to Egami and MSLGroup, who hosted an event offering a “day in the life” of a multicultural PR agency like Egami.
“There’s an expectation for brands to have a presence in the communities in which they live,” Warner told us. “As we build campaigns, we’ll find synergies to bring in community partners.” Moreover, Egami wants to include staff members, which is why the firm participated in the event. And the young participants learned that the information they collect every day — what’s in, what’s new, what’s exciting — is just the stuff that’s critical to a career in PR.
According to Bond, she was approached with the idea for these sorts of partnered initiatives, something that happens quite often because of the unique, high-profile nature of her organization.
“We make sure people just aren’t supporting the TV show and the glam, but the work we do,” Bond says. Still, she says, she is the “majority owner” of BGR, the beating heart of the organization. “That’s probably the biggest misconception. BET doesn’t support our nonprofit,” she continues. “It’s tough getting people to recognize that we need the help. We’re doing everything that nonprofits should be doing, but it’s still tough.”
The blow Nia Crooks took to Jen’s face on ‘Basketball Wives’ is really becoming the slap heard around the reality TV world because it seems to be the final straw in four seasons of frustration over the VH1 franchise. We told you about the grassroots campaign to stop Chad and Evelyn’s new spinoff yesterday but media personality Star Jones said she’s taking things a step further by putting together a group of women to tell the truth about women of color in the media. Here’s what she had to say about the show when she went off about it on Twitter:
“It may be ‘comfortable’ to be quiet when women of color slap the crap out of each other & run across tables barefoot, but #ENOUGHisENOUGH
“About to put together a group of sisters to finally ‘tell the truth’ about the image of women of color in the media,” Star, said, adding that she had just had a pow wow with Black Girls Rock! creator, Beverly Bond.
“And the thought that the woman from #BBW who was smacked doesn’t have the RIGHT to file assault charges is LUDICROUS! You NEVER give up your right not to have your ‘person’ intentionally assaulted unless you are participating in an agreed physical activity.”
Shortly after, Star switched gears a little bit to talk about rap music and the poor messages it sends about women, then she wrapped it all up with a call to action from women who feel the same.
“Then we have music filled with misogyny, self-hate & WOMEN calling THEMSELVES Bs and Hs & white rappers are using the N word.
“…little black girls deserve more than what we’re giving! It sickens me @lov3lylina85 when young sis think that behavior is acceptable. U can’t get a REAL JOB acting like an animal
“I’m asking all my high profile, platform having conscientious sisters who STAND FOR SOMETHING to just say #ENOUGHisENOUGH & call folk out! Be mad. But think about what I said. WE ARE BETTER than that. You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.”
With Star Jones and Beverly Bond behind this initiative, and Sherri Shepherd who has spoken out against BBW several times, this coalition really could gain wings. Shaunie and VH1 might be getting more than they bargained for.
What do you think about Star’s words? Is this coalition necessary?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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