When I was in my early 20s I kept a little notebook of inspirational quotes and carried it with me all the time. That book would have come in handy last night as I was watching Black Girls Rock.
Black Girls Rock is a non-profit youth empowerment organization that promotes the arts for young women of color. Founded by Beverly Bond, the group also encourages an analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media and hosts an annual awards show that airs on BET.
The women honored at this year's awards show were offering up so many words of wisdom I could barely keep up as I was scribbling their sage sayings onto any pieces of paper within my reach.
Actress Regina King, who hosted the show with Tracee Ellis Ross, said to the audience at the start of the show, "We can solve any problems when we stand strong and support each other."
Even though Black Girls Rock is mostly about celebrating the accomplishments of African-American women, I believe King's statement applies to all women regardless of race, color, or nationality. When women band together we have the power to bring about change. I believe in the value of community which is exactly why I started See Jane Write.
Image by David Shankbone via Flickr/Creative Commons
"True power comes from authenticity," Washington said. "Power come from being yourself."
Image by Michael Dornbierer via Flickr/Creative Commons
Janelle Monae, another celebrant at the event, is proof that Washington is right. Monae has made a name for herself in the music industry without changing her style or her unique sound to conform to trends. She was even recently tapped to be a Cover Girl.
"I didn't have to change who I was to become a Cover Girl," Monae said. "I didn't have to become perfect. Perfection is often the enemy of greatness."
She went on to say, "Embrace what makes you unique even if it makes other people uncomfortable."
Image by Walmart Stores via Flickr/Creative Commons
Singer Alicia Keys was also recognized for both her accomplishments in music and her foundation Keep a Child Alive, which is dedicated to providing life-saving AIDS treatment and support services to families affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
Keys reminded black girls (and women) of this: "Everything that you want to be you already are and you are simply on the path of discovering it."