Black Girls Rock isn’t just a saying anymore, it’s a movement. Ushered in by Beverly Bond, a DJ, to not only see the oft invisible black girl, but celebrate what she can do when you’re not watching.
Hence, Jada Pinkett-Smith’s speech at this year’s Black Girls Rock! Award ceremony, “I need you to understand that we are the women who marched from cotton fields into fields of medicine…politics…entertainment. We have found a way to march into the White House.”
Judging by Twitter some people have a problem with that. It’s nothing new. Neither is black girls contributions to excellence–in fashion,entertainment and academia–being ignored, thanks for making it so obvi Cosmo.
All the more reason Black Girls Rock is needed, and to show our appreciation we list 5 ways Beverly Bond rocks.
1. Because … She’s Not Just Making a T-Shirt Slogan
Originally, Beverly Bond wanted to use the slogan to start up a T-shirt, but envisioning the message was so much bigger than that she heigtened the platform. This is what she told NBC News:
I knew this type of message needed to be shared, especially for young girls, who might need to hear this from a unique perspective.
2. Because … She Defends Black Girls Rock Against Reverse Racism
It’s amazing how much people’s panties get in a bunch when black women unite to praise each other. But that it did when #whitegirlsrock and FLOTUS Michelle Obama is racist for declaring black girls rock started popping up on Twitter…again. Beverly Bond had an epic response. Here’s what she wrote on The Root:
When I heard about ‘whitegirlsrock’ hashtag that trended on Twitter, my immediate reaction was,’Well, duh! Of course white girls rock. Are they unaware? White women’s beauty, talent, diversity and wordly contributions are affirmed everywhere: on billboards, on television, in magazines and in textbooks.”
She goes on to say that black women need to be given just as much recognition for their talents. And shining a light on those accomplishments doesn’t draw a curtain on others’ feats.
As a humanist, I believe that we all rock. My issue is that the commentary that followed ‘#whitegirlsrock’ hashtag was not even about affirming dynamic white women. Instead, it was about critiquing or even punishing black women for having the nerve, the audacity and the unmitigated gall to live and affirm ourselves.
3. Because … She’s Mentoring Young Women
Black Girls Rock! isn’t just an annual awards show. It’s also a mentoring program to foster self-worth and community service among young women. Beverly Bond recently launched a three-day leadership conference to chat about college prep, the media and steps to be a success.
4. Because … She Can Reel in FLOTUS
Beverly Bond doesn’t just sit pretty in the audience while Regina King and TMurda make us laugh. She has her hand in honoree selections–made a year in advance–to stage building. Any and everything to see her “baby” come to life year in and out. And isn’t it nice to know this year she got a nod from the most powerful black girl: FLOTUS Michelle Obama. She endorsed Beverly’s empowering message by giving one of her own at the annual ceremony.
5. Because … She Knew Black Girls Rock Was a Success Before Reaching TV Screens
Before BET came calling–Beverly Bond told NBC she knew they eventually would–the movement was already filling out seats in New York’s Lincoln Center.
It was only a matter of time and I always knew BET was the perfect home for Black Girls Rock so I’m elated it worked out this way.
So are we. Beverly Bond doesn’t just rock. She’s on fleek.