Why “Black Girls Rock!” Is So Important
I sat in my home on Easter Sunday and was so excited once my alarm went off alerting me that it was 7pm, that meant one thing it was time for “Black Girls Rock” to come on. An awards show that airs on BET Network, it is based off a non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialog and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media. Founder of “Black Girls Rock” Beverly Bond saw the need to fix this disparity that existed and created a space where black girls everywhere tapped into their power. Now an awards show us black girls everywhere sit and watch as amazing honorees in every field from entertainment, politics, media, healthy, education, business, and every other field is acknowledged and honored for their achievements.
Black women and black girls are given a platform to stand in our light and shine. And why is this so important? Why does it even matter? It matters because I can’t think of one Black girl or black woman who gets the proper due for everything that she does. Black girls live in a world where everything around us says that we are not enough. We are not smart enough, not pretty enough, not gentle enough, not graceful enough, not regal enough, we are a lot of things but never enough. That type of constant negativity towards black women has the ability to seep into our subconscious and we start to feel self conscious or have low self esteem about things that we should be embracing. So when you have show that has black women that are doing amazing things be honored and you see an auditorium of black girls of all ages, shapes, sizes, and colors come together to say, “I am here and I rock” it does something for black girls everywhere.
Every year since the show has been televised I call every black girl I know, I tweet about the show, I post reminders to make sure everyone knows to tune in. You are not just watching an awards show you are being inspired and lifted up to become a greater you when you tune in. People may think I am lying and that is on them but the year director Mara Brock Akil got her award and made her acceptance speech she inspired me to create my short film. Up until that point I didn’t think I had “it” what ever “it” is I didn’t think I possessed it until Mara Brock Akil told her story and my dream however small in comparison became real. It wasn’t a matter if I could do it or not it became a matter of when I would write and direct my first short and I did. That is why I go so hard for people to watch the show and that is why it’s so important because I know first hand what it feels like to have someone who looks just like me empower me to move and make a dream a reality. To make you feel like you can do it and you will do it not simply because they have done it but because they are the same black girls that we are.
“Black Girls Rock” is not a cool catch phrase to put on a t-shirt (the t-shirts are awesome) its a way of life. For so long black women have been doing it all and not so much as a thank you has been said to us. And now we have our own black girls rocking out and empowering each other to stand and shine in our own light. Every year I watch the awards show I feel empowered, inspired, and most of all I feel the kick to get up and get moving. You have girls in their teens making moves and creating businesses so not only am I inspired I get a nice chin check to get to work. With every speech made by the awards recipients its a constant pour into black girls everywhere to be the best, they encourage us through example that we are enough. They make us sit up straight and take in our grace, brains, and beauty because when we see them we see us and that reflection is beautiful. So yes, “Black Girls Rock” is super important, because on days when us black girls feel as though we cannot make it, or we feel as though we are not enough, we have a reminder that says not only are we enough, Black Girls Rock!!!