To Those Who Think Black Girls Rock! –ing is Reverse Racism

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The annual Black Girls Rock! Award show (which took place last week) hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King, aired on BET yesterday, Easter Sunday. Black Girls Rock! is a platform that affirms positive images of black girls and women in the media by honoring exceptional women of color who are inspirational trailblazers and a positive role model in the community. As I watched the pre-taped show with my little girl next to me, I especially loved the beautiful imagery of black mothers and daughters celebrating the achievements, power and beauty of women of color; and wondered how anyone whose goal is to contribute positively to mankind could possibly have an issue with this picture.

Cicely Tyson, receives the Living Legend award at the Black Girls Rock awards #blackgirlsrock
Cicely Tyson, receives the Living Legend award at the Black Girls Rock awards #blackgirlsrock

To Those Upset About Black Girls Rock!

The affirmation and empowerment of Black Girls Rock! –ing, is not a jab at, or in anyway mean that other girls don’t rock. No matter your skin color, if you are blazing trails, dope, dynamic, confident, overcoming obstacles and is changing the game, YOU ROCK! However, black women have often been excluded and often under-represented. Black girls are frequently marginalized in not only main street media [and the blogosphere], but also society.

As a mother of two beautiful and highly intelligent black girls, a devoted wife, a self-employed professional and blogger, representation is not always there for people like me - a black girl. Though challenges and failures are both necessary components of success, black girls walk a tight rope our entire lives. We are often told that we are not good enough, we need to be lighter or skinnier, and are usually asked to jump through more hoops than our counterparts.

Willow Smith cheers her mom Jada Pinkett Smith at the Black Girls Rock awards. #BET #blackgirlsrock
Willow Smith cheers her mom Jada Pinkett Smith at the Black Girls Rock awards. #BET #blackgirlsrock

Just imagine growing up with the color of your skin being used as the measuring stick to determine your purpose, potential and worth; or the litmus test for how angry you must be. Imagine being told that your God-given hair texture is not professional enough. But in spite of all the nos and the extra obstacles, we continue to overcome with tenacity and grace. So if you are insulted or threatened by Black Girls Rock!-ing, then your insecurities need a reality check.

What is wrong with black women affirming and demonstrating self-love? Everyone should have the freedom to be unique and unleash the passion and power that they possess. As I see it, there is enough room for all of us to rock together, to collectively work to inspire and uplift our contributions to mankind. If anything, at least Beverly Bond and the Black Girls Rock! platform, has opened up a dialogue about how women of color are perceived and portrayed in main street media and society on a whole.

If I may borrow from Faith Evans, all we want to do is take the chains off, all we want to do is be free.

Sincerely,

A Black Girl Who Rock!

Rock! Beverly Bond and Debra lee Chairman and CEO of BET.
Rock! Beverly Bond and Debra lee Chairman and CEO of BET.

Congratulations to the 2015 Black Girls Rock! honorees, shout out to the First Lady who delivered a dope speech and Fantasia who gave an electrifying performance! You are truly Black Girls who ROCK!

  • Erykah Badu, Rock Star Award
  • Nadia Lopez, Change Agent Award
  • Ava DuVernay, Shot Caller Award
  • Dr. Helene D. Gayle, Social Humanitarian Award
  • Jada Pinkett Smith, Star Power Award
  • Cicely Tyson, Living Legend Award

Photo credit: in-video screen shots