Rock On Black Girls!

While sometimes life serves me a plate of crap with a side of BS sauce, as a remedy, I can replay “Black Girls Rock” and it serves as a good glass of red wine that washes the bad taste away.  The show warms me from the inside out.  Accordingly, I always use that “Keep Until I Delete” feature on my DVR for the Black Girls Rock Awards Show.  Every year, that show takes me on an emotional journey: one moment I’m snotty-nosed crying with my face smashed up against a couch pillow; the next I’m joyously dancing while standing two feet in front of the television.  This year was no different.  Here’s my quick recap:


  • Let me speak real plain cause because this is important: if anyone out there has any connections to Fantasia, please hook a Sista up and arrange that she sings at my funeral. That woman would cause even my enemies to cry.

  • Queen Latifah, has not aged a day. She looks the same as when she was singing U.N.I.T.Y. back in the day.  And she sho was different that our current female rappers.  Latifah was about bringing us together; today’s female rap stars only spit about spreading their legs apart (I ain’t judging – just observing — I listen to all of it).
Queen Latifah attends the Black Girls Rock! Awards at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
  • What Ava Duvernay said about Lena Waithe is something all young people need to hear: most people are not an overnight success.  The social media phenomena has allowed people to see results; but not the work it took to get those results, causing many to believe in and expect immediate and quick success.

  • “It’s not my job to make people feel comfortable with how I walk in the world,” is a quote that most resonated with me during the show. Lena Waithe reminded all of us to not feel pressured to apologize for any part who we are.


  • Naomi’s Campbell’s message was similar: “I always felt that being Black is an asset. Never let anyone make you feel differently.”

  • I love how Black Girls Rock also includes mini-Sistas who are doing major thangs. Naomi Wadler, who organized the walk-out movement at her school and now is a sought after speaker, inspired me to want to do more, though she’s old enough to be my daughter. That she realizes that Black women’s lives aren’t as valued in this country shows that she is wise beyond her years.  “When Black women are killed, no one says their names.”

  • HER is talent, dopeness and coolness housed in a beautiful package.


  • Don’t you just love how Mary J. Blige has let her dirty panties show all these years. Yes, she is oftentimes red carpet fabulous, but she has never hidden her pain, her troubles, her mistakes.  She made us feel okay about being stupid every now and again, for crying too hard for someone who didn’t deserve it, for trusting when we should’ve known better.  She’s has been authentic from day one.  She has given us “Real Love.”

  • Thank you to Judith Jamison for reminding us, Black women, that we wear a crown (we all need a reminder every now and again).


  • Why does twice married, child-having, clearly-exposed Janet Jackson still come off to me as innocent? Something about her makes me think of her as my baby Sista whom I need to protect.  Maybe when I see her, I still see Penny from Good Times and want to protect her from that iron.  Whatever it is, I still feel the urge to pinch the cheeks of a woman who has grinded on walls, poles and fine men while singing  “Anytime, anyplace.”

  • I’ve always loved Michelle Obama (who doesn’t) but seeing her now is like a cold glass of sweet iced tea on a dry, hot day: refreshing.


  • Lastly, Black award shows should be given an award at other award shows for our tributes. Ooooooo-weeee!!  I was halfway expecting Aretha Franklin to show up, wipe her brow, and then wave her handkerchief in the air cause Ledisi, Jazmine Sullivan, Cynthia Erivo, Stephanie Mills and Yolanda Adams …did her so right.

As it is every year, Black Girls Rock was perfect.  It was so nice to spend a couple of hours sipping on the bold, complex, sweetness of Sista-Love.

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About Randi B.

Randi is a diversity and inclusion strategist, speaker, trainer and writer, focusing on making connections and cultivating empathy in this diverse world one trip, speech, article, book and conversation at a time.

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