TV

BLACK GIRLS ROCK 2013 Was Amazing: My Top 10 Moments

BLACK GIRLS ROCK and we don’t get told that often enough so this awards show was what my soul needed. It was two hours of awesome and it made me so proud to see sisters who are changing the world getting the props they deserve. Beverly Bond’s organization is doing something simple yet so necessary, which is showing us that we are amazing. I loved every minute of BET’s broadcast of Black Girls Rock, hosted by Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross, but here are 10 moments that were especially fist pump-worthy (in chronological order).

Black Girls Rock 2013

1. Janelle Monae’s Electric Lady opener – Y’all know I love me some Janelle Monae, partly because her closet is my spirit animal. But the lady is super dope because she’s a gifted musician. She was the perfect opened to this show, bringing energy with her song “Electric Lady.” Her backup dancers kicked it off with a step routine and they jigged behind her throughout. I wanted to rock a JM letterman jacket. LOVE HER! I’ll be over here waiting for her to drop a clothing line that includes blazers, oxfords, cropped pants. BE STILL, MY PREPPY HEART!

Janelle Monae Black Girls Rock 2013

2. Marian Wright Edelman - Social Humanitarian Award for her advocacy for the right of kids as president of the Children Defense Fund. She’s a living legend whose work goes back to the Civil Rights Movement as a lawyer in Mississippi. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipents, MacArthur Genius Fellow, Yale Law School grad, and overall epic lady. YES MA’AM!!! Miss Edelman got on that stage and dropped so many gems that my hands couldn’t type them fast enough.

“I want every Black girl hearing my voice to know that YOU are special. Black women rock the cradle and whoever rocks the cradle rocks the future. Don’t let anybody else define you… God gave you your own DNA. Don’t EVER give up. Black women have NEVER given up. We have to reweave the fabric of family and community and we’re going to win because we’re NEVER going to give up!” 

Marian-Wright-Edelman-BGR-2013

We hear you and we salute you! YES! How could you hear that and not wanna get up and do something about something?

3. Girlfriends Reunion onstage - After all these years, I’m still butthurt that Girlfriends didn’t get the finale it deserved. So seeing the ladies together made me giddy. Tracee Ellis Ross,  Golden Brooks, Persia White and Jill Marie Jones were on that stage looking like time hadn’t passed. Come on with the GOOD black that don’t crack! Can we get a Girlfriends movie? We’ve had TWO Sex and the City movies. Who do we gotta call to make this happen? Anyway, it was good seeing them. Hey, yall!

Girlfriends Reunion Black Girls Rock 2013

4. Mara Brock Akil’s Speech - The Girlfriends introduced the lady responsible for the show as she received the “Showcaller” Award: Mara Brock Akil. I’m a fan of hers because the fact that she’s been able to tell stories of Black women on TV by creating fully-realized characters who aren’t just 2D tropes is an incredibly achievement. I’ve met her twice, and the last time was at the “Being Mary Jane” screening from this summer. She also happens to be super down-to-Earth and a fellow petitenista. Shero much?

Anywho, Mara’s acceptance speech rendered a G so unable to thug. I was all in my feelings when she walked off that stage after dropping so many quotables.

“When there IS an image that resembles us, oftentimes upon closer inspection, it’s not us…Black women, even if nobody else sees you, I SEE YOU…We are worth protecting and we are worth loving. When we dare to walk this world unapologetically…it’s how we put our own pictures up and validate ourselves.”

Mara-Brock-Akil-BGR-2013

*throws handkerchief* I’m not crying! There are just onion-cutting ninjas sitting next to me! BUT YESSSSSSSS!!!

5. Kelly Rowland and Sevyn Streeter’s Performance – One of the winners of the evening was Kelly Rowland’s abs, which exist to put the rest of us to shame. I WANT! Her performance with Sevyn Streeter was so dope and fun. Plus when E-V-E started rapping from the rafters, I started doing the Mary J. bop! I approve all of it.

6. Ameena Matthews’ Speech - I didn’t know who Ameena Matthews was before last night but I will be knowing more about her moving forward. The raw passion and fire she brought to Black Girls Rock gave me goosebumps. Ameena was presented with the Community Activist Award for her anti-violence work in Chicago (Violence Interrupter). Holding her prayer beads the entire time, she marveled at the fact that she was on that stage.

”Look at this gold tooth and this scarf and I’m talkin’ about Assalam alaikum. I’m so grateful to God to be here because I didn’t think I was gonna make it past 17. I realize today that I am Sojourner, and I am Harriet. I AM AMEENA MATTHEWS!”

Ameena-Matthews-BGR-2013

There’s no way I could do her speech justice because it was more than her words. Her power came from how she moved and how her voice got loud because her words just couldn’t be quiet. She brought the house DOWN and I’m so thankful for what she’s doing in Chicago. Don’t call my city “Chiraq”, bro. Respect to Ameena and all those who are working to fight the violence.

7. Misty Copeland’s Grace – Misty was honored with the “Young, Gifted and Black” Award and right after Ameena’s speech, she graced us with some ballet and it was just beautiful. She said: ”I rock because I stand alone but so many stand behind me. Black girls DO rock, and black girls CAN be ballerinas.”

Misty-Copeland-Black-Girls-Rock-2013

8. Patti LaBelle’s SANG – Not song but SANG. Aunty Patti LaBelle ain’t go there to play with any of y’all. Her performance was dedicated to celebrity publicist Patti Webster and she showed us all that she still got it after all this time. Her voice was effortlessly doing runs like Forrest. PATTI PATTI! I was at home flapping my wings one moment and rocking #BAGGINGFOAF the next.

Patti Labelle Black Girls Rock 2013 2

9. The QUEENQueen Latifah was given the Rock Star Award because she’s been in this entertainment game for SO long and she’s touched all areas of it: music, TV, movies. You name it, and she’s cornered it at one point. That’s no small feat. Her words of wisdom were: “NEVER let anyone tell you that you should stand behind them. YOU are the leader, you stand in front…Whatever it is that you do, you have to give back.”

Queen-Latifah-Black-Girls-Rock-2013

10. Beverly Bond - Creator of Black Girls Rock, Beverly Bond, gave a stirring speech to remind us all that our voices are important. What she’s created is so phenomenal because more young Black girls need to be empowered and they need to know they’re valuable.

”We cannot be silent on things that matter because we are each a part of the village…We must continue to trail blaze, we must continue to break glass ceilings … we must lift as we climb.”

Beverly-Bond-Black-Girls-Rock-2013

BRAVO, MADAME!

Like I said, every moment felt like a highlight so congrats to Venus Williams for the Star Power Award, Jennifer Hudson for the super cute new pixie cut and performance, Ledisi for the SNATCHED body and rodded locs that channeled the non-cowardly lion, Amber P. Riley for effortlessly slaying her performance vocally AND Alice Smith for bringing the house down with that song!

And my one side-eye of the evening came when Mariah Carey presented Patti LaBelle with the Living Legend Award, dressed like the Little Mermaid, R&B edition. Like if Ariel decided to dye her fin black and gold, don a black bra top and wear a wig. You know what? I’ma just move on because I wanna keep this post shade-minimal. I’ma have to write another post about Mariah’s sense of style tomorrow or something.

Anywho, it was REALLY awesome to see two people I know be featured for their work. Eunique Jones Gibson got a shoutout for her Because of them we can campaign, which I’m SUCH a fan of! I even have the t-shirt. And my BYP100 fam Rahiel Tesfamariam got props for her work in social justice and for her site UrbanCusp. So proud of these ladies! YALL BETTER WERK!

ALL the props to the Black Girls Rock team for putting together a dope show! YALL DID THAT! Thank you!

standing-ovation gif

Didja watch? Lemme know your thoughts!

If you liked the show and some of these quotes, put a TWEET on it with one click!

Pictures from BET’s Twitter (and text added by me).

51 Comments

  1. Shrley
    November 4, 2013 at 9:12 am — Reply

    As a mother who buried a son that died from gun violence in Chicago. Ameena Matthews makes me proud. That was my absolute favorite part of the show. She definitely Rocks!!

    • RavenJ
      November 4, 2013 at 10:04 am — Reply

      This is one of those moments where I have so much I want to say, but there are no words. I don’t know you, but my heart is filled with love for you. I have a 12 year old son and a 7 year old son. Everyday I look at them and have great feelings of hope…
      Sending you hugs and prayers.

    • November 4, 2013 at 10:26 am — Reply

      ALL THE HUGS IN THE WORLD to you, Shirley! As a proud Chicagoan, I believe that we can win this fight against violence in our city. I’m sending you love.

    • hidaya
      November 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm — Reply

      Ameena Matthews should have been #1. She didn’t have to have a fancy pedigree or use the Queen’s English. I felt her spirit LEAP thru my tv screen! :-)

      • November 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm — Reply

        I didn’t put the top 10 moments in order or preference. They’re in the order of the show.

        • maljazur
          November 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm — Reply

          You shoulda explained “chronologically.” Don’t be gettin’ all bourgie… ;o)

    • Shaffone' J
      November 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm — Reply

      you hit the nail on the head. She is an inspiration period.

  2. arlene
    November 4, 2013 at 9:17 am — Reply

    It always is a great ,inspiring show that encourages rather than tears down black women. i loved seeing the little girls in the audience watching all that positivity on a network notorious for having us look like side dishes. and mimi, lawd mimi. she needs what not to wear. BET is trying and I am happy to see them change.

  3. MarvyMds
    November 4, 2013 at 9:31 am — Reply

    That whole show was wonderful to me, but when I saw Marian Wright Edelman I was so proud. This woman warrior has been fighting for us for a long time, and I am glad to see her being held up for everyone to recognize. Females during the Civil Rights movement often did not get their due, but they were right there.

    Mara Brock Akil’s speech was so heartfelt and emotional! I can admit to getting a little bit weepy because I cannot see other people crying without joining in with them.

    Mamma Patti always delivers. I watched her on Oprah’s next chapter and she said that she has changed her diet to manager her diabetes, and that is why she is looking and sounding better than ever.

    This show was so great, and I hope it continued for many more years.

    But for real though Mariah. Sigh. Will she ever be age appropriate? No one is saying that you need to be in a caftan, but her stuff looks like couture BeBe. A woman of her age, wealth and high profile really does need a better stylist.

    • November 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm — Reply

      MarvyMds, cosign…Mariah needs a stylist who can help her realize she can still be sexy, without everything being skintight and over the top.

  4. Court
    November 4, 2013 at 9:42 am — Reply

    You forgot about Kelly’s performance! It was magical…

    I watched the show with my daughter and she hasn’t yet grasped the concept of why this is needed, but I want to instill as much pride within her as possible.

    • Dani
      November 4, 2013 at 9:54 am — Reply

      Kelly’s performance is listed as #5…

      • Court
        November 4, 2013 at 11:23 am — Reply

        Apparently, I need to go back to sleep and find that extra hour. Thanks!

  5. Terri
    November 4, 2013 at 9:51 am — Reply

    Ameena Matthews and Mara Brock Akil both brought me to tears! I’ve always been a fan of Mara’s work but her grace, poise and sincerity took me to a whole other level last night. Recognition well-deserved!

    And if you guys have never seen “The Interrupters” documentary with Ameena Matthews, please check it out and have tissues on standby. So powerful and moving!

    • Shinnies
      November 4, 2013 at 10:44 am — Reply

      I watched The Interrupters on PBS.org just b/c Ameena’s story and speech was so inspirational. I really liked it. It seems like they have really found a way to get through and provide a solution for some situations instead of just lip service or turning into neighborhood watch and running back to police with info and losing ground and losing the communities trust in doing so.

  6. Dani
    November 4, 2013 at 9:56 am — Reply

    I enjoyed every moment. My favorite was the flashes of all of those little girls sitting in the front row, watching in awe. Their faces said it all. BLACK GIRLS ROCK!

    P.S. No mention of Venus’ hair huh? LOL

    • MarvyMds
      November 4, 2013 at 10:24 am — Reply

      Hey, she did say she was trying to keep the shade to a minimum – but we all saw that hair. lol

    • Kwan
      November 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm — Reply

      I think that is the best part of this show to see all those young girls witnessing all that greatness. Seeing that THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL, THEY TRULY ROCK no matter what the world says and it’s not a cliche that whatever they set out to do with prayer, support and drive can come true.

    • hidaya
      November 4, 2013 at 3:38 pm — Reply

      Venus was being Venus. Nothing to report there. She does not need to coddle the audience with ‘appropriate hair.’ She has earned her stripes! Love her!

  7. cb
    November 4, 2013 at 9:58 am — Reply

    I didn’t see the show, good recap

  8. Nomi
    November 4, 2013 at 10:29 am — Reply

    You rock Luvvie for this recap and for letting me know how much I missed. I have to find the show online somewhere!!! I really missed out!

    • Tiffany
      November 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm — Reply

      I missed it too :-( but don’t fret my friend it re airs 11/5 at 7pm, 11/9 at 8pm, and 11/11 at 9pm. I absolutely love the recap I can’t wait to watch.

  9. Syrich
    November 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm — Reply

    First let me say thank you, thank you, thank you to Luvvie.

    OMG, Ameena talking to her baby. Wow.

    I know every sista understands that chill you get when you witness another sista handling her grace and her beauty, and most of all her revealing the strength of her power that God has blessed her with.

    Okay, in saying that I could not help but think about one such sista when Misty Copeland was speaking. I don’t know if you are familiar with Lauren Anderson, a former principle ballerina for the Houston Ballet Company.

    I studied ballet for 20 years only to be told over and over at the High School for Performing and Visual arts why black girls don’t make good ballerinas. This was in the 80s and I was kid who did not have the confidence to pursue something without encouragement. Thank God, five years later a sista name Lauren would show them and me that a black girl could. Lauren not only was a black prima ballerina, she was doing it in one of the most racially conservative environments, Houston, Texas (a red state). She received tons of hate mail and threats. Yet she never allowed them to prevent her from performing liked the beautiful swan that she is. See her do so gave me that chill. I just wanted to take time out to add her to the list of Black Girls who Rock.

    I am sure the list goes on and on for those who deserve mentioning and were not. I just had to speak on my local sista, whom I have never met, and yet have always admired. If you guys have a chance, check her out. Google: Lauren Anderson.

    • Kwan
      November 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm — Reply

      Wow she received hate mail simply because she could dance gracefully and better than most white girls smh. Racists and bigots sometimes truly puzzle me. I don’t know her, but I’m def. going to look her up. From what you’ve just wrote I already admire her strength to push forward.

  10. Syrich
    November 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm — Reply

    Sorry for going on that ballet rant. Just finished watching show (I dvred it) and let me just say I LOVE ME SOME US (Black Girls).

    Luvvie, I also need some closure on Girlfriends.

    Mara has been doing her job supporting black girls for a while and deserves so much more credit for doing so.

    I love Regina King, they should have done that Reeds show with her Jamal (are they still together?) Maybe she just does movies and not TV, but she is great on Big Bang. I just don’t think Regina gets enough prop.

    Will someone please tell me why my baby Amber Riley was dressed like she didn’t know where she was going. She usually looks amazing and neck on up, she did.

    Y’all leave Me Me (sp?) alone. I love that she dresses sexy and holding on to her sexiness. There are some of us who just like seeing ourself in less rather than more, I know what that is. I too refused to be age appropriate.

    Okay, I will probably post more comments later, these was just a few of my top thoughts.

  11. Annette
    November 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm — Reply

    My God I felt so proud, to see us as black women supporting each other. It felt so good to see us honor and show respect those that went before and whose who are expanding the support in big way.

    Loved the whole show it ever speech and performance just added to the whole show.

  12. November 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm — Reply

    I normally catch this on replay.. I only watched because my daughter was performing with Janelle Monae and I’m happy I did. I was proud to watch the entire thing and thanks for highlighting some of the key moments..

  13. […] click here to relive some of last nights memorable moments…. […]

  14. November 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm — Reply

    I was in tears by the time Patti started singing. Imagine what I looked like when she finished. That’s right – the ugly cry.

    That show left me feeling both inadequate and inspired.

    And Luvvie – you’re in timeout for that Ariel description.

  15. […] speaking words we don’t get to hear often enough, they were each teaching by example. My homegirl Luvvie wrote a great recap herself so definitely check that out if you haven’t yet. I’m here to tell you about my top 5 […]

  16. wonderteachkk
    November 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm — Reply

    I usually read this site and laugh with you all and your comments. This show was so good I have to speak on it. I was in tears most of the night including the Mab awards with the younger girls. This show was so good I put my lesson plan that aside for my students today and showed this show five times today to each class. I teach mostly with minority kids in the Gifted and Talented and At Risk High School Students. I also write the history curriculum for my school district. I felt that it was more important for them to see Black Girls Rock than to deal with Important Battles of the American Revolution. How Inspirational.

  17. November 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm — Reply

    That show was much needed for me and many other people. The power that flowed through those women, I fed off it. The raw passion from Ameenah inspired me so much. All of the women inspired me that night as women do every night. Made me really reflect on how i can better myself, correct my faults to be a better man and supporter of our women.

    black love

  18. nichole
    November 4, 2013 at 9:42 pm — Reply

    Let’s also give props to the black girl rocking that violin during Misty Copeland’s performance. Yes!

    • November 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm — Reply

      Thanks Nichole!!! My pink fiddle and I had a blast! ;)#blackgirlsrock

  19. Absurdist
    November 5, 2013 at 2:57 am — Reply

    “We’ve had TWO Sex and the City movies. Who do we gotta call to make this happen?”

    Kelsey Grammer?

  20. Absurdist
    November 5, 2013 at 3:36 am — Reply

    Something about the recognition for Misty Copeland upsets me a little.

    Not so much honoring her, because she deserves that. The fact that this is probably the only recognition that she will ever receive from BET is what bugs me.

    I’ve had to deal with the notion, like Misty, that “high culture” is not the place for Black people. In classical music, I certainly had Andre Watts (and more recently, Awadagin Pratt) to look up to in general, but these are not the kinds of Black images that seem to resonate very much or very far through what is arguably the biggest media outlet for Black America. It’s a double-alienation scenario, because we’re the so few in the “white-dominated” arts, and a large portion of the Black community just isn’t interested if the name Ailey or Marsalis isn’t attached.

    (Okay, that last part was just a vent; forgive me for the massive generalization.)

    The number of people for whom this occasion was their first exposure to Misty Copeland disappoints (the word that came to mind first was “depresses,” but thatis more of a selfish expression in my mind) me contextually, but it is my obligation to myself, my therapist, and my community to move past it.

  21. Pash
    November 5, 2013 at 4:12 am — Reply

    Thanks for the great post Luvvie. I have to watch the show, it sounds awesome and needed.

  22. TamTam
    November 5, 2013 at 9:43 am — Reply

    The show just really made me proud to be from, to be amongst, and to be a black woman!! Love you all!

  23. Sony
    November 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm — Reply

    Why only make a club titled Black Girls Rock? This sounds a little racist, it should be titled ” Girls Rock ”. This doesn’t make any sense at all.

    • MimiLuvs
      November 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm — Reply

      It is not a club.
      Plus, it is not called “Girls Rock” mainly because it is not focusing on the community service that is done by Black women and Black girls. Plus, it is straight to the point.
      “Black Girls Rock” is an annual ceremony that shows gratitude and praise to African-American women (and for women of African descent)that are “giving back” to their communities through philanthropy. The ceremony also honors celebrities for their philanthropic work as well.
      But, I have a feeling that you already knew that info.

      • MimiLuvs
        November 5, 2013 at 6:13 pm — Reply

        *not focusing on non-black women, but only…

  24. Toi Belle
    November 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm — Reply

    Excellent recap! I believe Mara Brock Akil won for the “Shotcaller” award. For ppl like Sony who just don’t get it, refer them to HuffPost article written by a white sister who does get it!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/olivia-cole/why-im-not-here-for-white_b_4214132.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

  25. Shaffone' J
    November 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm — Reply

    Ameena Matthews is a Jane of all trades. She should be on many, many covers and speaking at many. many places all over the world. A great LEADER PERIOD. Awesome. I cried like a baby.

  26. Amethyst
    November 6, 2013 at 7:31 am — Reply

    Long time lurker here….

    I caught the BGR show last night, and Oh my Lord, I loved it! I never say this, but I got to say this: IT.GAVE.ME.LIFE!!!!!

    I am a 32 year old ‘girl’ who rocks! I NEEDED to hear that soo bad, and I ain’t eeem know it!

    I watched it last year, and thought it was a nice enough show, but this year was EVERYTHING!

    As i sat front of my tv, in Lagos, Nigeria, halfway around the world, watching the collection of beautiful, accomplished, forward-thinking brave BLACK women, I was equal parts inspired, choked-up and proud. And it reminded me that I can do anything I set my mind to. 2013 has been a tough year for me, and Lord knows I had started doubting what I am capable of achieving, but when I tell you that show couldn’t have come at a better time?? Whooo, the show wasn’t even over before I started ‘doing’ things! D’you hear me?!

    And what a reminder that I am beautiful exactly as I am! With my brown skin and my oh-so-womanly curves a-la-Ledisi and the Queen!

    I am beautiful, I am confident, I am enough!

    Beverly Bond, Black Girls Rock, black girls and women all over the world are hearing your message, and you’re inspiring us and changing lives. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  27. Tori
    November 7, 2013 at 1:00 pm — Reply

    Makes me utterly proud to be black in a world where beign black can be humilaiating. Thank you blackgirlsrock!

  28. Tori
    November 7, 2013 at 1:01 pm — Reply

    Makes me utterly proud to be black in a world where being black can be humiliating. Thank you blackgirlsrock!

  29. foxxxtalltrees
    November 8, 2013 at 4:05 pm — Reply

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. If anyone can send me a copy I will be forever grateful. I live in Hawaii and guess what. No BET. As a black woman with 2 bi-racial nieces I need to see this and have it in my library to be seen with them. Award shows are not available on video but if there is any way to stress to the Powers That Be at BET that tbis should be available for everyone even if they have to sell it. BLACK GIRLS ROCK tshirts too. Thanks for the wonderful post as always. D

  30. November 11, 2013 at 11:34 am — Reply

    […] As Awesomely Luvvie put it, “Every moment felt like a highlight.” Amber Riley, Queen Latifah, Venus Williams, and Jennifer Hudson were among the stars present, and pretty nearly everything about the show was wonderful. Talented, tireless African-American women were lifting one another up instead of being forced to cater to white supremacy, and it was beautiful. […]

  31. […] speaking words we don’t get to hear often enough, they were each teaching by example. My homegirl Luvvie wrote a great recap herself so definitely check that out if you haven’t yet. I’m here to tell you about my top 5 […]

  32. July 3, 2014 at 2:14 pm — Reply

    […] BLACK GIRLS ROCK 2013 was AMAZING! […]

  33. Diane
    July 31, 2014 at 8:05 am — Reply

    I loved the show and dvr it, I’m in need of a copy of the bet Black Girls Rock 2013 now because in the process of replacing equipment in my home i’m about to loose my dvr recording and that has me truly sad. Can anyone help me to get a dvd of it?

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