Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Black Girls Rock!

Diva shot2Article by: Sonya LaRae-Editor-in-Chief

Editor: Toni Witter

Photographs by: N. Bremond Freelance & Photos of Theater, Leanna archer, Mari Malik and Dyci Manns from the internet


Monday night many of you might have watched Black Girls Rock! that came on one of the BET Networks.  The show took place at the Historic Lowes Paradise Theater in Bronx, NY. This show not only had a star studded audience it had a majestic place that gave a beautiful backdrop for what was about to take place.

Paradise Theater2 Paradise Theater  This event promises to be fabulous starting from the Honorees: Activist Angela Davis-Icon Award, Gospel Great Pastor Shirley Caesar-Living Legend Award, Actress Taraji P. Henson-Star Power Award, President NWBA Laurel J. Richie-Shot Caller Award, Human Rights Activists Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar-Trailblazer Award and Actress Tatyana Ali-Young Black & Gifted Award

The show opened up with Eryak Badu’s performance and it was such a great performance and her style was very Eryak Badu(ish) meaning that she was bringing her own touches, with a black jacket that was detailed with gold and the pants, made you think of riding pants which I thought was great, I just have to show you:

Erykah BaduTold you she looked very cool, then the Co-Host were introduced and it was the beautiful and talented Actresses Tracee Elise Ross and Regina King. These ladies looked just amazing Tracee wore a black sequined gown and Regina wore this too cute white halter jumpsuit that showed off her sculptured arms, Mrs. Obama isn’t the only women that has arms to die for.

Tracee Elise Ross and Regina King00

Drop dead gorgeous if I may say so myself.  This event was filled with so much class, grace and elegance, I say this because many times you watch Award shows where the Presenters, Performers and Host or Hostess act rather provocative and their language is not very desirable at all. 

Now regarding presenters talk about Black Girls Rock! They had the whose-who that presented live on the show: Super Model Alek Wek, Lala Anthony, Tichina Arnold and Sharon Leal:


Tichina Arnold Alek Wek LaLa Anthony Sharon Leal

Lala Anthony was the first presenter of the evening and she wore this beautiful cream color lace dress with the most GORGUES pair of shoes and her hair pulled back just perfectly. Lala presented Taraji P. Henson with the Star Power Award. Taraji delivered a tearful but, riveting message to black women stating “Support each Other” and she also thanked her son, which the audience gave a thunderous applause. She wore a very basic dress that looked like a snake print and black heels, I don’t really think this dress was that great for the evening but, I’ll let you judge:

Taraji P. Henson Then there was appearances from other fabulous A-List Ladies, the Whose-who that appeared via the very large LCD screen as: Gladys Knight, Patti Labelle, Anita Baker, KeKe Palmer and a very pregnant Nia Long and several others that had great things to say to everyone watching and those who were in attendance at:

Black Girls Rock Logo  

Then we had Melanie Fiona that performed, and I have to say prior to her singing I could not tell you who she was.  Melanie, performed her new song “This Time” which, she did a wonderful job, always sounds so pitch perfect.  Now what she wore for her performance not so let’s say pitch perfect, Shorts with a long dress that looked like it was gathered up right at the waist of the shorts, then pined with a broche, wedged heels that made Melanie look a little clumpy something was just off with this look. Personally, Melanie’s Red Carpet dress worked better for me than what she selected to perform in, tell me your opinion:

Melanie Fiona Melanie Fiona3

 Anther Honoree was introduced, for the Living Legend Award. The Honoree was the one and only Gospel great Ms. Shirley Caesar. Speaking of a true living legend, Pastor Shirley Caesar, just a few years back suffered a heart attack while performing and right after she came out of recovery wanted to know when she could go on with her ministry? This amazing Gospel singer is 73years old but, I like to say Ms. Caesar is one of the youngest 73yr. olds I’ve seen. The energy in which she performs, the way that she truly sings her music with such true vigor and strength you see, hear and feel the love she has for GOD, I’d like to give you Pastor Shirley Caesar:

Shirley Ceaser2

Then we were introduced to three MAD young ladies, no not like that we mean “Making A Difference.” These young ladies are making an impact on their communities and setting fine examples for other young people that may be looking on: LeAnna Archer, Mari Malek and Dyci Manns, are doing major things in their young successful lives. I want to introduce you to the successful and motivational MAD young lady:

Mari Malek

Mari Malek 24-Has taken the lead position in giving back by cofounding and running Southern Sudan Initiatives Inc. this program benefits the Lost Children of the Southern Sudan to find out more information regarding this young ladies company visit This young lady has taken helping others to the next level.


Leanna Archer  Leanna Archer 15- At age 9 Leanna was already the CEO of her very own Hair Care products. Then in 2008 she developed Leanna Archer Education, which gives underprivileged Children in Haiti a better education.  Leanna, is doing great things and she is going to be someone that you will see on many other Award shows and Talk shows that will open the doors for more people to get involved. Visit to see the products.


Dyci Manns  Dyci Manns 22- Creator of Model26 a program that provides financial assistance and counseling to College students pursuing Social and Human Rights internships or for those who participate in short-term volunteer programs abroad. Dyci also has Do Something you can learn more by visit: 

The organizations that these 3 young ladies have developed should motivate all of us young and old alike to get involved.  I’m having such a great time and the show is just packed with so many things, that I just cannot begin to put it all into this blog. Then we was treated to the smooth sounds of Jill Scott.  Jill, started her performance with an original poem, that was motivational, that lead right into her smash hit “Hate on Me Hater.” OMG! This profound artist can change her music up and take it to new levels each time you hear it, then her look.  Stop The Presses! Jill looks to good for words in all honesty, the big hair, the charcoal sequin pant suit (side note: Now as a Stylist I would not have put her in this type or cut of pants, I would have placed her in a better silhouette for her particular body type)and the shoes was just FIRE!! I just have to let you all see Ms. Scott:Jill Scott2 Jill Scott

Jill, is dropping LBS owning her beauty her strength this is on fierce artist!!  Moving right into the next honoree of the evening, we’re introduced to the first black woman who runs a major sports league WNBA, Laurel J. Richie who is presented with the Shot Caller Award. Laurel J. Richie is very respected has such an amazing story and her accomplishments read like a true biography. I have to tell you Laurel, stated in her speech something that just rang in my ears “Giving conviction and self-worth to all black women is something necessary in build the future.”  Why I stated this rang in my ears, is because I feel this is necessary for all women and that we have to instill conviction and self-worth in young ladies starting a a very young age. Now own to what she wore for this evenings festivities, I like this particular dress that she choose to wear because it was simple but the details were the sleeves.  I loved the fluted ruffled sleeve very classic and elegant her hair was neatly styled and her shoes where nice, I must let you meet her:

Laurel Richie

After Laurel J. Richie finished her acceptance speech, we were treated to another performance. Many of you have heard of this next talented artist Elle Varner, I hadn’t heard of her nor her music, so I was really interested to see and hear this artist. Elle Varner came out on the stage and her look is very cool, I love her beautiful curly hair, her bold colored tunic and the leggings  very modern and chick Loving it!! Then she started to sing and I loved her even more, she has this voice that is a little raspy and her upper notes just chirp, the energy is very high.  If you don’t know about this artist trust me, do yourself a favor and go out and buy her CD she was just that good. Let me introduce you to Elle Varner:

Elle Verner2 Elle VernerThen the incredible Alek Wek came out onto the stage to present the Trailblazer Award to Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar. Alek looked just perfect and as beautiful as she did the first time walking the Runway. They started playing the tape of Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar, these ladies are true Trailblazer’s. They are Human Rights Advocates for justice, dignity and policy reform for venerable women and girls in the United States and in Africa. If you would like to learn more about The Rebecca Project please visit Let me introduce you to Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar:

Imani Walker and Malka Saada Imani Walker and Malika Saada Saar2Then the singing duo of Mary Mary was introduced and they performed the 1980’s song Optimistic by Sounds of Blackness.  I have to tell you the Mary’s sometime confuse me because, I know they are Gospel singers but, where is the preverbal lines that they will not cross? Tonight’s performance has to be the first that they did not have some kind of questionable outfits on and that the music was about inspiring.  I hope you all enjoyed Mary Mary, your look at the duo:

Mary MaryThen Sharon presented the Icon Award to Angela Davis, they started playing Ms. Davis story. She is well known for her activism and fighting for the rights of equality and some that were just making statements and even raised awareness. Angela Davis severed 6 years in prison and  was a part of the Black Panthers, we’d like to introduce you to the one and only Ms. Angela Davis:

Angela DavisThen Tichina Arnold came on stage to present Young Black and Gifted Award to Tatyana Ali.  Tatyana started her career at the young age of 6, as an actress on Sesame Street, then she got her big break on the show that all of us remember her from as Ashley Banks on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air the baby sister who was really loveable and cool who Will always looked out for and clowned around with.  After her stint on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith asked Tatyana if she was serious about her music and did she really want to be a singer.  Needless to say she sad yes and her album “Kiss the Sky” went Certified gold. Now she stars in a new show that is produced by Martin “Love that Girl” that is in its second season and also has been picked up for another season.  Now we see why she is receiving the Young Black and Gifted Award, we give you Ms. Tatyana Ali:

Tatyana Ali2Then to close out the night Mary J. Blige, I have to tell you she never looked or sounded better than she did Monday night. She is singing “My Life” she had the audience just rocking and she is just flowing into her notes, can you say “Show Stopper”! Then after she finished singing My Life she began singing “Just Fine” that sounded fabulous. I love Mary’s new image, sound and happiness that she is feeling, you have to see Mary J. Blige!

Mary J Blige Mary J Blige2I hope you all enjoyed the coverage from this years Black Girls Rock! Its nice to see some of the major accomplishments that women of color are achieving, and I hope that it will motivate you no matter what your age or nationality. Ladies please support each other in Life, Business and Friendships, don’t tare down the next woman because of your lack of self-confidence.

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Black Girls Rock! was Founded by celebrity DJ and Philanthropist Beverly Bond. Beverly, is dedicated to promoting a positive image of women of color in Mass Media. In our research we found out that the Black Girls Rock!Inc, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that has been dedicated to the healthy development of young women and girls since 2006. The organization seek to build the self-esteem and self-worth of young women of color by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons and helping them to empower themselves. I like to present you all with the Founder Ms. Beverly Bond

Beverly Bond

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