There were several highlights during the 51st NAACP Image Awards which took place in Los Angeles on Saturday.
With the entire event oozing black excellence, the evening saw some of our favorite black celebrities being deservedly honored in various fields including entertainment, philanthropy and community service.
A very insightful evening, the event also saw some of the awardees delivering powerful speeches.
Though Rihanna’s moving speech when she took the stage to accept the President’s Award for her philanthropic works was one of the memorable moments, seasoned actress Tracee Ellis Ross also delivered an equally inspiring and powerful one.
Taking home the award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Black-ish, Ross, 47, paid homage to black women who are changing the narrative.
An excited Ross, after thanking the Black-ish cast and crew, shared an Audre Lorde quote about women not being allowed to tell their own stories.
“We too often have been expected to be all things to all people and to speak everyone else’s position but our very own,” she quoted.
“Our experiences and stories are way too often told through interpreters,” she said. “And history, systems, and laws have told us we need a man’s voice or power to name our existence, to validate our experiences. That we need a son to carry on a legacy, to etch our impact in time. But we get to define ourselves, not through how others imagine us, but through how we see ourselves. Even if our truth makes you uncomfortable.”
She then shared how honored she is to be in the era of strong, influential women including Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Janelle Monáe, Yara Shahidi, Jill Scott, Tiffany Haddish, among others.
She also paid homage to other trailblazing ladies including her mother, Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Maxine Waters, Nina Simone, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee and Moms Mabley.
“I love being a part of this ever-growing chorus of Black women owning our own legacies,” she concluded.
Take a look at the video below: