Extra, Extra! The Award Show Rundown

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Photo by Mbali Ndlovu

On Saturday, October 17, 2009 the stars aligned at the illustrious Times Center in the heart of New York City for the 4th Annual 2009 BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards co-hosted by esteemed actresses Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross. Tapping into her list of diverse philanthropic friends Black Girls Rock! Inc. founder Beverly Bond gathered a stellar and diverse array of presenters and supporters included noted entertainment attorney Londell McMillan, public relations maven and author Terrie Williams, philanthropist Jessica Seinfeld, Essence magazine’s Emil Wilbekin,  Hip Hop Icon Doug E. Fresh, celebrity stylist and author June Ambrose,  actor Columbus Short, Phil Collen-lead guitarist of the legendary English rock band Def Leppard, Black Enterprise television host and journalist Ed Gordon, Fox News correspondent Lisa Evers, BET News correspondent Jacque Reid, NYC mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, world-renowned fashion designer Catherine Malandrino,  music mogul Andre Harrell, DJ Jazzy Joyce, Bethann Hardison and many others. Head HERE for awesome video coverage of the awards done by VH1.

The evening kicked off with a VIP cocktail reception and silent auction featuring many items donated by the night’s honorees, presenters and supporters. New York City’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg opened the awards show via a personal letter expressing a warm welcome, sincere congratulations, and a heartfelt thank you to BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. founder Beverly Bond. Mayor Bloomberg recognized and exalted Ms. Bond’s efforts in helping to empower young girls of color and for helping to build “a brighter city.”

Photo courtesy of http://www.concreteloop.com

The effortless chemistry between entertaining hosts Regina King and Tracee Ellis Ross resonated throughout the event. Their serious voices of reason pertaining to the importance of the evening and their impromptu comedy sketches molded seamlessly together, creating an atmosphere that buzzed with excitement. The night was truly ablaze as inspired honorees and presenters delved deep within themselves and gave personal testimonials from their own lives to coincide with the night’s festivities.

For the past four years the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards show has served as the premiere fundraising event for BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc., a non-profit, youth-empowerment mentoring organization founded by celebrity DJ Beverly Bond. All of the proceeds will go towards operational funding for BLACK GIRLS ROCK! programs. The BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards honors the influential achievements of exceptional women of color in fashion, media, business, the arts and entertainment, and public service.

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Photo courtesy of http://www.theybf.com

Universal support for the organization was personified as Phil Collen of Def Leppard and hip hop icon Doug E. Fresh presented the Black Girls Rock! ‘Rock Star’ Award to Queen Latifah. Following a crowd-shaking, musical ode to hip hop icons intro by Doug E. Fresh, an overwhelmed Queen Latifah entered the stage to a standing ovation. The Queen delivered a rousing, emotionally charged acceptance speech in which she reminisced about her childhood years, which ultimately influenced her direction as she morphed into hip hop royalty. She placed special emphasis on the importance of the exceptional and unique programming offered by BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, Inc. Queen Latifah asked for more awareness, sympathy, and prohibitive action towards victims of sexual abuse. Uplifted, she then passionately matched an earlier donation of $25,000 made to the organization.

A silent auction also took place, with the following items up for grabs: a Catherine Malandrino mosaic necklace and bracelet set, a Tracy Reese sequin chemise dress,  and a Gucci patent leather clutch amongst other items. A Gibson guitar will also be auctioned online later this month, which was signed by many of the celebs that attended, incl. Phil Collen, Mary J. Blige, Raven Symone, Anthony Hamilton, Queen Latifah, Tracee Ellis Ross, Regina King , Janelle Monae and many others.

DSC01670Highlights of the evening also included:-An admiring, altruistic couple who generously donated $25,000 to the organization-an impromptu poetry performance by “Living Legend” Award honoree Sonia Sanchez-A thoughtful and moving acceptance speech from supermodel and activist “Fashionista” Award honoree Naomi Campbell who spoke of discrimination within the modeling industry and the limitless support she received from Black Girls Coalition founder Bethann Hardison-Super songstress and recipient of the evening’s Black Girls Rock! “Icon” Award Mary J. Blige and the Black Girls Rock! “Who Got Next” Award honoree talented newcomer Janelle Monáe each respectively delivered inspiring words that relayed their commitment to excellence and the necessity for organizations like BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc.-Groundshaking performances by the young ladies of BLACK GIRLS ROCK! who honored “Young, Gifted, and Black” Award honoree Raven-Symoné with a Nina Simone tribute of the same name-Two soulful selections by Universal artist Melanie Fiona-A riveting vocal performance by Wondaland Arts Society/Bad Boy recording ingenue Janelle Monáe.
Sponsors for the event were AMBI Skincare and CIROC Vodka. A special thanks also goes out to Audi of North America and MAC Cosmetics.
COMPLETE LIST OF HONOREES
  • Dr. Mehret Mandefro: the Black Girls Rock! “Community Service” Award
  • Naomi Campbell: the Black Girls Rock! “Fashionista” Award
  • Janelle Monáe: the Black Girls Rock! “Who Got Next” Award
  • Spinderella: the Black Girls Rock! “Jazzy Joyce DJ” Award
  • Raven-Symoné: the Black Girls Rock! “Young, Gifted and Black” Award
  • Anthony Hamilton: the Black Girls Rock! “Soul Brother #1″ Award
  • Dr. Sonia Sanchez: the Black Girls Rock! “Living Legend” Award
  • Iyanla Vanzant: the Black Girls Rock! “Shot Caller” Award
  • Queen Latifah: the Black Girls Rock! “Rock Star” Award
  • Mary J. Blige: the Black Girls Rock! “Icon” Award

“BLACK GIRLS ROCK! is undergoing a strategic shift towards national expansion, answering the call of service made by President Barack Obama through mentoring, educating, and empowering young girls.”- Founder Beverly Bond

Additional information on the annual gala and BLACK GIRLS ROCK! can be found at http://www.blackgirlsrockinc.com/Officials.

SPONSORSHIP CONTACT:
Miatta David
Miatta@mvdinc.usoffice : 212.244.5436 fax:212.244.5439

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About Patrice Peck

Culture-savvy freelance writer who combines the research skills of an academic scholar with the customer-savvy of a business professional. Turns complex information into clean, readable prose designed to educate and entertain the reader. Specializes in women's issues, Black hair discourse, popular culture, music, film and the literature with complimentary skills in social media and a penchant for videography and music.
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2 Responses to Extra, Extra! The Award Show Rundown

  1. Elle says:

    CONGRATS TO EVERYONE! I’m so proud of JM for this award…she is the artist of the future, that said, there is so much to look forward to in music. She’s an amazing talent!!

  2. I agree with Elle! Janelle Monae is excellent and a great representation of beautiful, strong, Black women who inspire many!

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