On Tuesday, stars and visionaries from the music, entertainment, education and business worlds came together to celebrate the women of color who make things happen with Black Girls Rock! 2017, an awards show broadcast on BET. It was a breath of fresh air in an awards-show industry traditionally dominated by white dudes (cough cough, #OscarsSoWhite).
Excluding sports and President Trump’s simulcast address on Afghanistan, it was the third most emotionally reacted-to broadcast in the last week (Aug. 17-23) with 28,763 Emotional Reactions (ERs) according to emotion analytics company Canvs. The conversation was overwhelmingly positive, with comments expressing love occuring 39.1% of the time, followed by congratulatory messages (15.3%) and ERs talking about how beautiful the participants were (8.6%).
Writer, producer and actress Issa Rae (currently the mastermind behind HBO’s Insecure) was the most-mentioned person during the evening, and her acceptance speech for the Star Power award was one of the most touching moments. Viewers went nuts for everything about her, and her Twitter handle was mentioned even more often than BET’s.
Issa Rae is an inspiration!!! #BlackGirlsRock
— Becca🕊 (@MJStarLover) August 23, 2017
issa rae smile is so contagious, it makes me so happy
— -b. (@brittthebrwnone) August 23, 2017
Yara Shahidi was the second most-mentioned and received the Young, Black & Gifted award for her work both on and off the TV screen (Shahidi is the star of grown-ish, a new ABC show that’s a spin off from its hit black-ish, and she’s also an activist for social injustice issues). Like Rae, she used the time on stage to spread a positive message for young black girls to embrace who they are and always work towards a better future.
yara shahidi is so wise for her age. such a masterpiece.
— AK (@_AichaLove) August 23, 2017
Yara Shahidi is so eloquent and majestical, she inspires me so much
— Chasney ⚜ (@chasneytillery) August 23, 2017
If the evening could be described with a single word, it would most certainly be “inspiration.”