jessica tholmer
April 06, 2015 4:12 am

We have to talk about Black Girls Rock! In case you have not heard anything about the awards show before, let me tell you all about it. Black Girls Rock! is an annual awards show featured on BET to celebrate women of color in a variety of categories. Unlike other award shows, the categories are unique and entertaining like “Living Legend,” “Trailblazer,” and “Young, Gifted & Black.” The first ever Black Girls Rock! show premiered in 2010 and featured performances by Ruby Dee, Keyshia Cole, Jill Scott, and Raven Symone.

Sunday night was the 2015 Black Girls Rock! presentation, but never fear — ICYMI the show will re-air Tuesday night. You do not want to miss some of the incredible performances, speeches, and great hosting bits by our gurus Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King.

Here are some important moments you will want to catch:

The Change Agent award was given to Nadia Lopez. 

You probably know Lopez as the principal of Brooklyn’s Mott Hall Bridges Academy, an institution that became world renowned thanks to an incredible Humans of New York story. The work Lopez has done for that school has moved so many of us, and inspired so many young students. Her speech is also SO worth watching. We gift you this clip.

The Living Legend award was given to Cicely Tyson.

Golden Globe, Oscar, BAFTA, and Tony award nominee. And you do not want to miss her speech. As she said, “I want to say to the young women here tonight, the moment anyone tries to demean or degrade you in any way, you have to know how great you are. No one is going to bother to put you down, if you are not a threat to them.” The truest words.

The Rockstar award was given to the perfect human being that is Erykah Badu.

And if you don’t know Badu, get to know Badu ASAP.

The Shot Caller award was given to Ava DuVernay.

In case you’ve forgotten, DuVernay is the under-appreciated director of the Academy Award nominated film Selma. Her speech just drives home the fact that she is a badass of the best kind.

The Social Humanitarian award was given to Dr. Helene D. Gayle.

A fighter of global issues, and poverty across the world. Dr. Gayle is the president and CEO of CARE USA. She has done so so much with her life so far, in fact Dr. Gayle has previously been named as one of the most powerful women in the world.

Lastly, the Star Power award was given to Jada Pinkett-Smith, love of my life (and I guess also her husband Will’s).

Pinkett-Smith is the recipient of this award due to her extreme talent in everything from acting to producing to performing music to just being an all-around incredible businesswoman. If you watch just one part of the incredible Black Girls Rock!, make it her acceptance speech. Chills, tears, every other feeling.

And remember: “No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful. You are powerful. You are brilliant. You are funny. Let me tell you, I am so proud of you.” Michelle Obama, who spoke at the event and who is also, very obviously, a Black Girl who rocks.

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