‘Black Girls Rock’ Promotes Empowerment

PHILADELPHIA – The Black Girls Rock! 2012 special on Black Entertainment Television/BET is back for a third televised installment to celebrate the achievements of remarkable women of color. Back by popular demand is the dynamic duo of Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King who returned to co-host this year’s awards show, filmed last weekend at the historic Loews Paradise Theatre in New York City. The two-hour event will be a star-studded evening with performances and appearances by Alicia Keys, Brandy, India Arie, Keyshia Cole, Ciara and 2011 Black Girls Rock! Star Power Award recipient Academy Award-nominee Taraji P. Henson and more.

This year’s celebrants and award recipients include: Grammy Award-winning music legend Dionne Warwick – Living Legend Award; actress Kerry Washington – Star Power Award; magazine editor, writer and journalist Susan Taylor – Inspiration Award; singer-songwriter Alicia Keys – Rock Star Award; and human rights activists and doctors, Dr. Hawa Abdi and her daughters – Social Humanitarian Award. Black Girls Rock! 2012 will highlight empowering stories of excellence from women of color from a broad spectrum of diverse missions and professional backgrounds.

“It is important to inspire people generally,” said Warwick prior to the event. “Young women of course, because I happen to be a women, it is important that they know what womanhood is really all about, and the things that they can be and accomplish. So the thing is inspiration for everyone, and especially women, and especially Black women.”

“There is so little in media that represents girls positively — not hungering for men or baring their bodies inappropriately,” said Taylor on the red carpet. “Just that this is named ‘Black Girls Rock!’ excites me. It is intergenerational, and they are honoring women who have held their integrity strong, and we can all be under the tent and show Black girls — and women — that you can be anybody and anything that you want to be if you are willing to do the work.”

Viewers can expect more memorable moments from this year’s awards show, which will feature male entertainment stars performing for the first time.

“We don’t have enough time,” said crooner Eric Benet when asked about the women in his life. “I’m only standing here because Black girls rock. There were so many Black women in my life, that if I fell down, they were there to pick me up, slap me on the back of my head and say, ‘You know what? You can do better. You can be better.’ I think about the story of us as a people, and the mother of our people is the Black woman. You know that resilience, that love, that nurturing nature, that belief in the Black man when nobody else in the world would believe in the Black man. The Black woman was there to pick him up and give him that pride and that drive to be better and stronger. I’m one of those Black men, and I am just grateful for my mom, aunties and sisters.”

Since 2006, Black Girls Rock! has been dedicated to the healthy development of young women and girls by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons, and helping them to empower themselves.

“This show has become an essential platform where dynamic women are honored and exalted for bringing the best of our cultural contributions to the forefront,” said Beverly Bond, founder of Black Girls Rock! Inc. “The Black Girls Rock! award show on BET celebrates the nexus of achievements of women of color and showcases Black female excellence, to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders.”

Black Girls Rock! 2012 premieres Sunday, Nov. 4, on BET Networks.
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By Bobbi Booker
Special to the NNPA from The Philadelphia Tribune