It's a good time to be a woman (wait...isn't it always though? hehe).
I barely came down from my high following The Ween Awards this summer, where I interviewed sheroes, Soledad O'Brien, Nia Long and Valeisha Butterfield (if you don't know her, google her) on the pink carpet, when I received an invite to Black Girls Rock! Awards. While they were slightly different, I left both shows feeling inspired, lifted and proud.
Black Girls Rock!, held at the Paradise Theater in the Bronx, particularly blew me away. The night started with me dressing up in a garment from my fave new emerging, supertalented designer, Sammy B. Designs (below, more on her later). With her suggestion, I belted her glamazing blazer as a dress (don't you love it, glams?).
The arms of the blazer were covered in rosettes and it gave shoulders. Truly, a beautiful garment!
In that blazer and with my hair done (thanks to Sharon Alexander of Done-Up Salon), I was so ready to hit the pink carpet. There, Jill Scott, Ciara, Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole, Free, VV Brown, Ledisi and more showed up looking like a rockstar. Check out my favorite looks below:
Raven-Symone showed off her slim physique in a neon fitted dress.
One of my favorites, Malinda Williams, gave a funky dark cut and pop of leopard print on the pink carpet.
Jill Scott blew me away with a short cut, leopard pumps, fur, lace and shades. Werk!
Black Girls Rock! founder, DJ Beverly Bond, was pretty in black with a fitted dress and long, luscious hair.
So excited to see VV Brown get some shine! She kept all eyes on her with her winged sleeves and standout poses.
Ledisi's voice is nothing short of incredible! Her winged-sleeve cape and slim pants made for a sophisticated look.
Ciara gave fur, leather and plenty of cross chains - truly a rockstar moment!
The energy in the room was just as fabulous! Everyone was excited for the fifth show and first-ever taping of the Black Girls Rock! Awards. You could feel how momentous the occasion was for the organization, founded by DJ Beverly Bond, BET and black girls in general!
Everyone was sweet, from Ciara who I ran into in the bathroom to Jill Scott who looked fab and, ahem, slimmer on the pink carpet. When the show finally started, the feeling of sisterhood only intensified.
The stage at Black Girls Rock! taping
Without giving away too much, here are my highlights:
-Nia Long was an amazing, hilarious host with a fab wardrobe thanks to superstylist June Ambrose. Her best moment of the night? When she was speaking about "unsung heroes," she made a mistake and said "unhung." Then to clean it up, she goes: "I don't know nothing about unhung." Neither do we, Nia. Hilarious!
-Ledisi blew everybody away as part of a foursome with Jill Scott, Kelly Price and Marsha Ambrosius performing "Four Girls" from the For Colored Girls soundtrack. Incredible! Ledisi's verse at the end was soul-stirring and unforgettable. Lucky us: since they were taping, we got to hear it twice!
-The Videos: Real women like AIDS activist, Hydeia Broadbent, were recognized with inspiring video clips throughout the night, and celebrities like Tracee Ellis Ross and Anika Noni Rose taped charming, funny and sometimes emotional videos telling the world why they rock!
-Keke Palmer and Raven-Symone both won awards (Who's Got Next and Young, Gifted & Black respectively) but the most touching moment is when Raven presented Keke with her honor. Raven told everyone she had to come back to the stage after her win to share the love with her girlfriend! It was a cute, sisterly moment.
-Lynn Whitfield presented Ruby Dee the Living Legend award with a heartfelt speech about meeting Ruby Dee as a theater student at Howard, giving her best imitation of Dee's famous stutter and cadence. Even Ruby Dee herself had to laugh.
These were only some of the moments that made Black Girls Rock! a night I'll always remember. The other performances (Jill Scott, VV Brown, Shontelle, Keyshia Cole, Keri Hilson, Monica and more) and honorees' speeches (Iyanla Vanzant, whose speech received a standing ovation, Major General Marcelite J. Harris, Missy Elliot and more) were just as phenomenal!
My fave, Jill Scott shutting the stage down with a performance of 'Golden.'
Two women I look up to, Iyanla Vanzant and Ruby Dee sharing smiles and laughs on the red carpet.
My only suggestion? I think the guys should get more involved next year...if only to tell us how much we rock! Don't you agree?
Anyway, trust me, you don't want to miss the show when it airs on BET on November 7th, 2010. Come back and tell me what your "highlights" are.