The 10th annual Black Girls Rock! awards aired Tuesday night (April 5) with a Tracee Ellis Ross opening number that left the Internet’s proverbial jaw on the ground (and solidified once again why Tracee is life.)
The night’s honorees ranged from Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg, Soul Legend Gladys Knight, Black Lives Matter creators Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors along with show runner, writer, and owner of Thursday nights Shonda Rhimes.
However, when it came time for Rihanna to take the stage, the Anti singer, rocking a floor length fur over a baby blue men’s button down shirt, spoke honestly and from the heart about why she believes receiving the award, simply because she’s black, was such an honor.
“You know, role model isn’t the title they like to give me,” she said jokingly. “But that’s why tonight is so important to me because I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle. I mean that is it. Just be yourselves, it’s the easiest thing to be. I love you guys, all girls rock, black girls, we just on another level.”
Watch Rihanna’s inspiring speech below.