All Articles Tagged "black girls rock!"
This morning, as we were filming “Did Y’all See,” our producer Raven, told us about “Catfish” creator Nev Schulman and the comments he made earlier this week about Black women. She paraphrased his words. But here’s the actual tweet, which has since been deleted.
When she first told us, I thought of the numerous times I’ve watched this show. I mean, yeah there were a lot of Black women on it. And in that moment, I failed to see how dismissive, offensive and inappropriate that tweet was. And I told our producer that I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.
But then, I got on my computer and looked at it for myself.
I don’t know what it was, but something about seeing the words, in written form, with the “just sayin’” afterward, that made me see the real issue here. He tweeted this on the very night “Black Girls Rock” aired, the single day where our Blackness and our brilliance was celebrated on a national platform. I’m a huge fan of “Catfish” and even really enjoy Nev himself. Still, I can’t understand how the tweet was meant to do anything but discredit Black women, offering a caveat to the undeniable brilliance we witnessed as the show aired.
Thankfully, Black Twitter didn’t take as long as I did to see the problem here. As you might imagine, Black women, still on a high from being so richly embraced that night, were NOT having it. There were annoyed gifs, attacks at his character, threats to boycott the show as well as someone pulling up receipts about Nev punching a woman when he was in college.
Then, the discussion became more productive and educational as one young, Black woman, who actually Catfished someone for years when she was in middle school, offered this explanation.
After the exchange, Nev DMed Cici. He deleted the original tweet, thanked Melaninporn and apologized.
— Nev Schulman (@NevSchulman) April 6, 2016
You're right to be upset & don't have to accept my apology, but I am deeply sorry to those whom I offended and learned a valuable lesson.
— Nev Schulman (@NevSchulman) April 6, 2016
Well, that’s about as happy an ending as we could have anticipated…in the short term. Hopefully, Nev will find a way to integrate this discussion on the actual show, the next time the opportunity presents itself.
By Patrice Tartt
Black Girls Rock! 2016 celebrates 10 years of #BlackGirlMagic tonight with the show hosted by the beautiful Tracee Ellis Ross. This year’s honorees include producer and writer Shonda Rhimes (Shot Caller Award), R&B legend Gladys Knight (Living Legend Award), “The Walking Dead” actress Danai Gurira (Star Power Award), award-winning actress and activist Amandla Stenberg (Young Gifted and Black Award), and the founders of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi for the Community Change Agent Award.
The night was full of performances from Gladys Knight, Andra Day, Jazmine Sullivan, Brandy and Monica. Corinne Bailey Rae, Marsha Ambrosius and Imani Uzari performed together, and last but not least, there was a special performance from the one and only Lauryn Hill who closed out the show.
“I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle.”-Rihanna
One of the highly-anticipated highlights of the night was Rihanna being presented with the Rock Star Award, following her heartfelt speech about being yourself and learning to love yourself. Before she left the stage, she was sure to leave us with a profound statement about all girls, especially Black girls, which pretty much sums up what we mean when we use the term Black Girl Magic.
“All girls rock…Black girls, we’re just on another level.”-Rihanna
Everyone who took the red carpet earlier in the night did so with grace and style. It was a pleasure to see some of the men come out to support our Black girls such as AJ Calloway, Hosea Chanchez, Michael K. Williams and Bobby Jones.
But without a doubt, all were there to support their fellow Black girls who rock and truly believe in the importance of such a movement to help elevate, inspire, and uplift the images of Black girls and women around the nation.
Black Girls Rock! creator Beverly Bond is a thought leader like no other, and for the past 10 years has constantly reminded us to stay true to who we are as Black girls, while doing so unapologetically.
After hosting Black Girls Rock last year alongside Regina King, our favorite girlfriend Tracee Ellis Ross is making a fabulous return to Black Girls Rock as this year’s host.
The BET Networks and Beverly Bond-powered annual show is what #BlackGirlMagic is about — “representing a revolutionary landmark in media as it delivers edifying, entertaining and inspiring content honoring the nexus of achievements made by powerful Black women and girls.”
This year, ShondaLand producer and writer Shonda Rhimes (Shot Caller Award), R&B legend Gladys Knight (Living Legend Award), The Walking Dead actress and Eclipsed playwright Danai Gurira (Star Power Award), award-winning actress and activist Amandla Stenberg (Young Gifted and Black Award), and Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi will all to be honored at this year’s exciting event. And of course, there will be some special musical performances, too.
“I am so proud to once again host “w!™”,! Ross said in a press release.
“What an incredible night celebrating Black women in a show dedicated to Black Girl Magic. Powerhouses Debra Lee, CEO and Chairman of BET Networks and Beverly Bond, CEO of ‘Black Girls Rock! ™’ are true examples of Black Girls who Rock. I’ve proudly hosted this show since before it was televised, and it’s been an honor to be connected to this show for so long. In its 10th year, this show is of utmost importance in today’s times as it highlights positive reinforcement and representation for young black women. I am looking forward to once again being a part of such a wonderful night celebrating the beauty, talents, and accomplishments of black women – it will be a show to remember!”
Black Girls Rock will be taped on Friday, April 1, 2016 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ and will air on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 8:00 P.M. ET/PT.
While folks in Mississippi are getting their panties all twisted for a girl wearing her “BLACK GIRLS ROCK” t-shirt to school, the movement will not be stopped.
In fact, it’s bigger than ever now, as founder Beverly Bond recently announced that “BLACK GIRLS ROCK,” an organization originally built to empower girls in New York, is crossing the Atlantic.
Bond made the announcement during BET’s inaugural BET Experience Africa event, a music and lifestyle festival held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In a “Genius Talk” with South African tv anchor Khanyi Dhlomo and journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha, Bond said:
“The purpose of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! AFRICA platform is to recognize, support, and celebrate the diversity and dynamism of Black women in Africa and the African Diaspora. BLACK GIRLS ROCK! AFRICA will tap into our growing international market by illuminating the vibrant cultures and valiant narratives of our African sisters who are sheroes and trailblazers.”
Bond, a DJ, founded BLACK GIRLS ROCK in 2006 as a multifaceted movement dedicated to shifting the messaging Black girls receive about themselves through media images.
BLACK GIRLS ROCK AFRICA will follow in that same pattern.
According to a press release:
“BLACK GIRLS ROCK! AFRICA will be a multi-faceted digital, media, and lifestyle platform that will continue to elevate Black women and girls in Africa and beyond. Bond is currently working with several community-based organizations to spearhead outreach initiatives on the continent and is also collaborating with VIMN Africa/BET Africa to develop a Pan-African BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards show to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of BLACK GIRLS ROCK! in 2016.”
Excellent news! We’ll be excited to see how this organization continues to grow and change lives.
Yesterday, we posed a serious question on our Facebook page asking, “Do you feel like there is enough positive representation of Black women in the media?” Of course, most of you said no, pointing to the need for more spotlight on the achievements in our community and we want you to know we have a solution. We’re bringing back She’s the Boss!
She’s the Boss captures the business savvy, style and spirit of America’s most successful Black businesswomen. Created specifically to cater to the unique environment of online television viewing, the series features intimate one-on-one interviews with four of the most influential and inspiring women in the United States. She’s the Boss offers practical advice and inspiration to the largely female demographic among fans. Sponsored by African Pride, this season we will be highlighting amazing entrepreneurs such as Karen Civil, AJ Johnson, Angela Benton, and Charlene Dance.
For the month of October, tune in every Monday at 9am to hear their stories.
Click here to watch the amazing women who were featured in Season 1.
For more of our BOSS movement, don’t forget to enter our Be The Boss contest for a chance to be featured in a docu-series as well as win a makeover courtesy of African Pride.
“Be The Boss” Contestant Tracey Woods is a 47-year-old philanthropist from Memphis, Tennessee, who makes it her life’s work to give back to the community in which she lives. Check out her video entry above and for more info on how you can nominate a woman you know to “Be the Boss” and win a makeover courtesy of African Pride, click here.
Black Girls Rock Launches The ‘Black Girls Lead’ Summer Conference To Empower Girls Around The Globe
“Lead, innovate, serve!” That bold statement is the catchphrase behind the Black Girls Lead mission.
Founded by Black Girls Rock Inc.’s Beverly Bond (above at this year’s BGR event), the campaign seeks to empower young Black girls to grab life by the horns and take charge of their own destiny. Black Girls Lead will achieve its aim by launching its first four-day international conference this summer.
All Black girls around the world between the ages of 13 and 17 are invited to apply for the Black Girls Lead summer conference, but there are only 60 spots. Judges will be keeping their eyes open for young girls who exhibit an aptitude for leadership, an interest in professional and personal development, cultural pride, and a hunger to make an impact in their community.
“The overall goal of this leadership conference is to host a ‘meeting of the minds’ amongst young people who have displayed excellence individually, but who will also benefit from our pedagogy which highlights teamwork and collective responsibility for emerging thought leaders and active change agents,” Bond said in a press release.
The “action-packed” and “forward-thinking” Black Girls Lead conference will feature an array of workshops, master classes, and panels on media and cultural literacy, business, entrepreneurship, social action, arts, technology, financial literacy, and more. The symposium, the press release said, “will educate, affirm, support and empower girls who desire to become trailblazers of our future.”
The conference will take place between July 30 – August 2 in New York City at Barnard College, Columbia University.
“The Black Girls Lead conference allows us to expand our reach by giving even more girls access to our innovative programs and empowering ideals.” Bond added.
If you’re interested in participating in Black Girls Lead, click here to apply. And hurry! The deadline is on May 15.
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.
— Nili Majumder (@NiliMajumder) November 8, 2014
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the upcoming generation is hopeless. In addition to Kwasi Enin last year and Harold Ekeh, this year, Munira Khalif, a high school senior from Minnesota, has achieved the rare and distinct honor of being accepted to all eight Ivy League schools as well as several other prestigious colleges.
The 17-year-old with Somalian immigrant parents, who attends Mounds Park Academy, said that she was surprised to learn she’d been accepted to all the schools.
But she shouldn’t have been. With accomplishments on her resume that include founding a non profit organization, lobbying for legislation against child marriage, becoming a teen adviser for the United Nations’ Girl Up campaign and being a spoken word artist, Khalif had the skills and more importantly, the passion to be an asset to any college or university.
According to Minnesota’s Star Tribune, her teachers and peers describe her as a young woman who doesn’t just talk about it, she is about it. They say she exudes confidence and grace in ways people twice her age have yet to master. But in the midst of being amazing, she still makes time for sleepovers and cooking with her friends.
Her nonprofit organization, Lighting the Way, which she began as a freshman in high school, seeks to help the youth of East Africa buy making education accessible. The organization raised $30,000 for scholarships and to aid with sanitation problems.
As an adviser for the Girl Up campaign, she engaged her peers to send letters to Congress fighting against child marriage.
During her sophomore year, Khalif was invited to perform her spoken-word piece in honor of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who survived a Taliban attack to go on and fight for the rights of girls to be educated.
But of all the accolades she’s received, Khalif is most proud of being honored with the U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education’s Youth Courage Award. An distinction recognizes young people who are fighting for universal education. She was one of nine students chosen from around the world.
“That was the highlight of my entire high school career. I was just bewildered.”
So where did Khalif develop her passion for education?
It was her parents, who had to flea from Somali’s civil war in 1992.
“Having parents who fled from civil war changes your entire perspective. That makes you realize the opportunities you have in the United States and use those to its fullest extent.”
In Somalia, Khalif said her maternal grandfather was adamant that his daughters received an education when many girls did not have the same opportunities.
“Because my mom was able to receive this gift of education, I felt I had an obligation to give this gift back.”
In addition to her activism, Khalif spoke of being inspired by W.E.B. DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folks and the poetry of Saul Williams. She uses these mediums as a way to “find a place as a minority in the United States.”
While Khalif’s hard work over the years has afforded her with the luxury of many options, she’s not certain which school she will eventually attend. Right now, she is sure that she wants to continue her activism, her poetry and return to Somalia one day.
“I want to be a part of the dialogue back home. There’s a lot of peace-building happening in Somalia and I want to be a part of that when I get older.”
Khalif’s Spanish teacher Kari Kunze said, “A lot of people say they are going to change the world and they have the best intentions. But Munira is somebody who probably will change the world.”
Congratulations to this young lady! We’re sure this won’t be the last time we hear her name.
Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina King, and other stars on the Black Girls Rock! red carpet talk about the trend of leading Black women on TV. Is this just another fad in the entertainment industry or a positive step toward more diversity and inclusion? See what they had to say.