Black Girls Rock! Awards Returning To TV, Amplifying The Impact And Voices Of Women Of Color

Source: Black Girls Rock!/Facebook

Mar. 1 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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After a five-year hiatus, the Black Girls Rock! Awards will return to television this year to honor the contributions of trailblazers, entertainers, icons, community activists, thought leaders and rising stars. The awards show, which will be aired on Lifetime, will be recorded live on June 27 at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

The show is part of a larger Black Girls Rock! Experience, which features an array of events and celebrations throughout Atlanta. Events include the BGR! Expo, annual BGR! Film Festival, the BLACK CLOUD Tech Summit, and the BGR!FEST concert series.

To celebrate the return of the Black Girls Rock! Awards, let’s take a look at the profound career of its founder, Beverly Bond, and the impact of the Black Girls Rock! movement.

What is ‘Black Girls Rock!’?

Black Girls Rock! is a non-profit women’s empowerment movement and brand that was created to advocate for and mentor women and girls of color. The annual Black Girls Rock! Awards is a celebration of achievements of women of color who “break boundaries, blaze trails and set trends,” according to the website.

Since its inception, the organization has expanded to empowering and mentoring Black women and girls in Africa, with the goal of “illuminating the vibrant cultures and valiant narratives of our African sisters who are sheroes and trailblazers,” the HuffPost reports.

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In 2021, founder Beverly Bond told Deadline: “The message that Black girls rock, we are beautiful, and our voices matter has truly penetrated popular culture.” In 2023, Bond announced a new business venture under the Black Girls! Rock umbrella: Black Girls Bond, a daily digital publication delivering content and amplifying visibility for women of color creating across multiple industries.

BGR! Founder Beverly Bond

Bond, a New York City native, began her career as a Wilhelmina model and transitioned from the industry at 37, when she started DJing at local clubs. This later opened doors for her to DJ at exclusive events with celebrities such as Prince, Alicia Keys, Jay Z and Erykah Badu. Bond founded Black Girls Rock! in 2006 after another event asked Bond to curate a women’s portion of the event. She created a “Black Girls Rock” portion of the event with Lauryn Hill, Mumu Fresh and other, she told WTOP.

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Bond partnered with BET in 2010 to televise the awards show, garnering 2.7 million viewers when it first aired. In 2018, Bond published her first book, Black Girls Rock!: Owning Our Magic, Rocking Our Truth, in which she interviewed more than 40 powerful women, including Michelle Obama, Rhianna and Angela Davis. Bond has received a number of recognitions for her work, including being named to the EBONY Magazine Power 100 luminaries list, receiving four NAACP Image Awards and four Root 100 awards.

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The BGR! Network Of Opportunities

The platform offers a number of opportunities for Black girls and women, including Black Girl Lead, a four-day digital leadership conference for women of color between the ages of 13 and 17. The conference is designed to affirm Black girls’ brilliance, enhance leadership skills, cultivate confidence and encourage sisterhood in a girl-centered space, according to the website.

Black Girls Rock! also hosts a book club through a partnership with Microsoft, which promotes community, empowerment, literacy and leadership through thought-provoking books; and educational STEM programs through its platforms Girls Rock Tech.

Impact On Black Girls And Women

In announcing the awards show’s return to television, Bond reflected on the impact of BGR! on Instagram, highlighting the legacy and impact of the 2010 M.A.D. (Making A Difference) Girl honoree, Hydeia Broadbent, whose life and work, Bond said, embody the “essence of what it means to truly ROCK!”

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Black Girls Rock! awards in 2016, The New York Timesreported that BGR! holds up an “unapologetic mirror” as it challenges the “often-negative and stereotypical ways in which women of color are portrayed in the media.” The BGR! Awards has won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Variety in the series of Special Category three times, and has been nominated five times. During the 2016 awards show, Hillary Clinton – then a presidential hopeful – thanked Bond for her work.

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By: Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith is a professional communicator by day and night, leveraging more than a decade in the news industry to share stories that have a positive impact on society. Gillian believes everyone has a story worth telling, and she has made it her professional mission to tell those stories in a responsible way. Gillian received a BA in journalism from Ithaca College and a Master's in Journalism Innovation from Syracuse University. She is currently the director of external communication and media relations at Suffolk University.

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