Last night on August 22nd, BET aired their annual program, Black Girls Rock. The ceremony, hosted by Taraji P. Henson, honored black women who've made strides and broke barriers in various field including entertainment, business, and civil rights.
SZA opened the show with her song "Normal Girl" off her latest album, CTRL.
Yara Shahidi of Black'ish was the first to receive her Young, Gifted and Black Award, then Suzanne Shank, the co-founder of the trillion (yes that's right), trillion dollar finance firm, Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., LLC, was awarded the Shot Caller Award.
Ledisi performed her song "High" which stunned the crowd.
Jay Ellis honored his Insecure co-star, Issa Rae, with the Star Power Award. Rae also shared her story of embracing her awkwardness.
Ne-Yo presented the Community Change Agent Award to Natalie and Derrica Wilson, who started the Black and Missing Foundation to help minority families find missing loved ones after Derrick experienced a personal tragedy in 2004. To uplift us, Tasha Cobbs Leonard took the audience to church and had everyone praising the Lord.
Maxwell honored Roberta Flack with the Living Legend Award with a video tribute from John Legend and a performance by India. Arie and Tyrese of "Where Is The Love?".
Black Girls Rock founder, Beverly Bond, presented Solange with the Rock Star Award. Anthony Hamilton gave a vibrant performance of his Grammy nominated song, "Best of Me", right before Laz Alonso and Jussie Smollett honored Maxine Waters with the Social Humanitarian Award. During her acceptance speech, Waters thanked black women for her support when she faces "alt-right haters", and said "I am you, and you are me", encouraging black women to support each other. Waters also announced that "if you come for me, I'm coming for you", the audience cheered (as she also encouraged Trump to get impeached and said everyone's favorite catchphrase "reclaiming my time").
The show ended with Taraji P. Henson taking over the DJ booth and the audience partying.
During the show, a few women and organizations were acknowledged for their work and accomplishments; including Girl's Trip star Tiffany Haddish honoring Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American Muslim woman to medal at the Olympics, Rutina Wesley honored Haben Girma, the first blind and deaf student to graduate from Harvard Law School who now teaches big corporations on how to connect with their consumers, and Robin Thede honored Dr. Njema Frazier, a black woman following her father's footsteps, becoming a doctor while encouraging other black girls to explore the world of STEM.
You can catch the reruns on BET and Centric, or watch the highlights here.