Women Wisdom Wednesday | Black Girls Rock! Awardees Dropped Major Life Lessons

Black Girls Rock! creator Beverly Bond said it best, “10 years in and Black girls still rock.” Yaaass, always have and always will. Even if some still need convincing (looking at you Catfish’s Nev.) there is no better recognition than from your fellow cocoa sistas. So here is a sprinkling of sage advice on how us Black girls can keep rockin’.

Danai Gurira, Actress “The Walking Dead” and Playwright

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“I want to encourage all these other black girls. I know it can get tough out there. It can get downright ugly. I have walked the path, or some version of it, but know you are designed for greatness. And black girl, you rock because you have so much potential. Your power and your resilience will help to heal this world.

You have a resilience that is in your DNA…whether you want it or not. You are what the world is waiting for. Whether the world acknowledges that or not. Step into your uniqueness. Protect it. Nurture it. It is precious. No one can do what you can do or contribute what you are destined and designed to contribute.”

Shonda Rhimes, Creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” “HTGAWM”

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“For those of us up here on the stage, our careers have been named. Our paths have been chosen. We have picked our mountains and we have started to climb it. Because the minute someone starts giving you awards, you are more history than future.

Your slates are blank. Your paths are clear and your stories are whatever you decide they’re going to be. You are the builders of the 21st century. You have a right to the universe. You were given then right simply by being born. So you already rock… Change the world. And when you’ve done that, change it again.”

Rihanna

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“I believe God put us all here for a reason and we all have our purpose and we are here to fulfill our purpose individually. I think the thing that’s kept me sane, the thing that’s kept me humble, the thing that’s kept me successful is being myself. I only know how to do that.

This world is so big and it can be so confusing at times that you tend to forget and you tend to be so indented or tainted by society and the only thing that’s kept me going is being myself. And the minute you learn to love yourself you would not want to be anybody else. Role model is not the title they like to give me, but…I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle.”

Beverly Bond

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“Black girls still have to grow up with pervasive and paradoxical messages that say that our Black is not beautiful, but our features can be bought and sold to enhance the beauty of other women.

When Black girls swag and the black girl’s aesthetic are only dope without the Black girl but sky rocket in value and get put on a pedestal when it’s put on other bodies, our girls internalize that to mean that they are less beautiful. I started #BlackGirlsRock because I love us and I believe in us. Why do I need to get permission from you to affirm me? I want us to walk righteous in our spirit. Own your magic, walk in your purpose, rock in your truth.”

Big Sean Hands Out School Supplies in Hometown & Which Celebs Helped Homeless Student Attend Howard University

Big Sean Handing out Supplies. Credit: Huffington Post

Big Sean Handing out Supplies. Credit: Huffington Post

Rapper Big Sean took time out from promoting his new album, “Hall of Fame” and dropped in on a back-to-school fair held in his native Detroit. The Kanye West protege handed out backpacks filled with school supplies donated by Office Max. The fair included educational games, career guidance and much needed school supplies for public school kids–an ever-present need this school year–and some love from one of the hottest rappers in the game.

“The Huffington Post” reported Big Sean offered hugs, handshakes and encouraging words along with those pencils and notebooks to families there.

“My message [to kids] is just to stay focused on what your goals are and do as well as you can. And focus on what you’re great at and harness that talent,” he said. “There are so many opportunities out here … I hope these kids, these young minds, take advantage of that and make it happen. They can be way better than a rapper, they can be way more successful.”

A product of the Detroit public school system, the rapper says he had an urge to give back, and he’s attempting to with his new venture: Sean Anderson Foundation. The foundation promotes “education, health and well-being” of Detroit youth. So, it’s not a stretch that the back-to-school fair would be the foundation’s first project.

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After hearing this inspirational tale on “NBC Nightly News” this past month, I couldn’t pass up a mention. James Ward went from living in a shelter overlooking LA’s skid row with his mom and two siblings to entering the Black man’s Harvard aka Howard University as an incoming freshman, and who paid the tab? YOU. That’s right, all those kind generous souls who went on James’ Homeless to Howard fundraising site, which rapper Common was so kind to share with his Twitter followers and contribute to the cause ( smart and  generous *swoon*) is what landed the 19-year-old first-in-his-family-to-attend college on a higher learning plateau.

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Brainchild to ABC’s Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy Shonda Rhimes also showed James some love for his cause.

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How do you thank complete strangers for paying for two years of schooling? (FYI…one year at Howard cost over $32 Gs.) The above photo is great start. But James’ plan is little bigger. He is launching a non profit to help other young kids get a fair shake at a quality education. What a great way to pay it forward.

Good luck James!!!