Black American women celebrate women of colour at the Black Girls Rock! awards

You’ve got to hand it to the sistas across the pond. When it comes to standing up for themselves and supporting each other, they’re there. The annual Black Girls Rock! event was held last week and this year, none other than the US First lady Michelle Obama was a special guest at the prestigious event.

The First lady has been criticised by some white American women for attending the event as they feel it undermines her office by acknowledging just one section of the community, but to understand the First Lady’s decision to attend the event, one must look into the African American and indeed black community generally as well as the media portrayal of black women.

Black Girls Rock! is a non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of colour, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of colour are portrayed in the media. The awards are run in association with BET.

Founded in 2006, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! has been dedicated to the healthy development of young women and girls in the US by offering mentorship to 15-17 year olds with the view to improve the self-esteem and self-worth of young women of colour.

This year’s event was hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King, both of whom have hosted the show four years in a row. The 2015 Black Girls Rock! awards paid tribute to six ground breaking women in the areas of entertainment, education, philanthropy, and health with honorees including Jada Pinkett Smith (Star Power Award), Ava DuVernay (Shot Caller Award), Cicely Tyson (Living Legend Award), Erykah Badu (Rock Star Award), Nadia Lopez (Change Agent Award) and Dr. Helene D. Gayle (Social Humanitarian Award) as well as 2015’s P&G sponsored M.A.D. Girls Chental-Song Bembry, Gabrielle Jordan and Kaya Thomas.

We look forward to the day Black British women will come together to celebrate the achievements of fellow women of colour in the UK in such a splendid manner.

See photos from the red carpet in the gallery below.

Jill Scott, Tatyana Ali, Lola Ogunnaike and Carmen Ejogo

Jill Scott, Tatyana Ali, Lola Ogunnaike and Carmen Ejogo

Estelle

Estelle

Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay

Beverly Bond. Black Girls Rock Founder

Beverly Bond. Black Girls Rock Founder

 

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