All Articles Tagged "Beverly Bond"
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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When you read a headline that says “Survey paints portrait of black women in America,” you automatically get squeamish. On one hand, you think, finally, someone is asking us about us, but on the other you wonder why, and hope it’s not another story about single, black women.
The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation recently conducted a nationwide survey to develop an image of black women in America. The survey included interviews with more than 800 black women in the U.S., making it the most extensive attempt to understand the lives of African American women in several decades, and the poll touches on everything from religion and romance to careers and finances.
According to Washington Post writer Krissah Thompson, in a nutshell:
“Religion is essential to most black women’s lives; being in a romantic relationship is not… Nearly three-quarters of African American women say now is a good time to be a black woman in America, and yet a similar proportion worry about having enough money to pay their bills. Half of black women surveyed call racism a “big problem” in the country; nearly half worry about being discriminated against. Eighty-five percent say they are satisfied with their own lives, but one-fifth say they are often treated with less respect than other people.”
I’d say that’s a pretty accurate reflection and what I find remarkable about the summation is that even with the barriers we’re facing, the majority of black women are still satisfied with their own lives and believe it is a good time to be a black woman in America. This finding reminds me of the recent study that showed overweight black women have a higher quality of life than overweight white women. Both speak to the spirit of black women—we’re not necessarily strong and hard, we’re resilient and optimistic, and we take control of our circumstances.
As Beverly Bond, founder of Black Girls Rock! told The Post: “We have depth. We have pain. We have bad. We have good. We have complexity. We need to see the well-roundedness of who we are. We need to see everyone.”
The poll attempted to do that by approaching the subject from the perspective of black women rather than drawing conclusions from their outside perceptions. A few of the results showed:
- Forty percent of black women say getting married is very important, compared with 55 percent of white women.
- More than a fifth of black women say being wealthy is very important, compared with one in 20 white women.
- Sixty-seven percent of black women describe themselves as having high self-esteem, compared with 43 percent of white women.
- Forty percent of black women say they experience frequent stress, compared with 51 percent of white women.
- Nearly half of black women fear being a victim of violent crime, compared with about a third of white women.
Black Star Power is back in NYC with the taping of the 2nd annual Black Girls Rock! The awards show is being taped tonight at the Paradise Theater in the Bronx. This year’s show, hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross (so you already know the fashion is going to be CRAZY) and Regina King (who seems to be hilarious so we’ll likely have jokes), is promising to once again deliver those magical entertainment moments we saw last year. In case you forgot, that’s where we saw Marsha Ambrosius, Kelly Price, Jill Scott and Ledisi (we needed a fan for that killer ending Ledisi provided) tear the roof off the building with their rendition of Nina Simone’s classic, “Four Women.”
This year’s honorees include: actress Taraji P. Henson, Gospel legend Shirley Caesar, political activist Angela Davis, actress Tatyana Ali, WNBA president Laurel J. Richie, and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights co-founders Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar. We’ll also see performances from Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Mary Mary and more. Black Girls Rock! Inc. founder and CEO DJ Beverly Bond should be very proud of the impact she and her team have had on not only Black girls but Black WOMEN as a whole with Black Girls Rock! The awards show is the highlight of what the organization highlights everyday: self-empowerment, education, public service and promotion of the arts.
The 2011 Black Girls Rock! Awards will be televised on BET on Sunday, November 6th at 8pm. Be sure to tune in!
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Hello Beautiful decided to end Women’s History Month with a bang by compiling a dope list of 25 black women you should know. Ester Dean, Beverly Bond, Rebecca Alexis and Majora Carter are just a few of the women profiled.
Definitely a must read!
What well-known (or maybe not so well-known) black women do you find inspirational?