Last night was the MTV VMA’s, and I must say it was a great award show. Usually, MTV doesn’t do a great job of highlighting people of color on their stage, but this year they definitely stepped their game up. Across the board, there were so many great examples of diversity from the hosts, to the performances, to the award recipients. But the one thing that stuck out the most to me was the unity within the black community, specifically the women. Here are some highlights that I’d love to put to the forefront:
Beyonce on the Red Carpet with the Mothers of Police Brutality Victims
Beyonce hasn’t attended the MTV VMA’s since 2014, so it was already a big deal that she showed up this year. She decided to set it off with a bang, arriving on the red carpet with her queen in training Ms. Blue Ivy. They looked stunning! She was also accompanied by the young black girls and women who were part of her iconic Lemonade Project, all standing in formation. Yasss. And in her continued effort to show her support of the #blacklivesmatter movement, Beyonce also brought the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Oscar Grant, and Eric Garner. It was great to see MTV show respect for the women, who have been through so much already. Also, during Beyonce’s performance she paid homage to them in her own amazing way.
Rihanna’s Four Performances &Vanguard Acceptance Speech
Rihanna’s discography is very long, lined with top charting hits and amazing dance tracks. It took her four performances just to get through it all and each one highlighted her strengths, her Caribbean roots, and her powerful tone. Riri took us through time with each of her songs that made us fall in love with her personality but our personal fave definitely had to be the second set. Reminiscent of a dancehall party overflowing with magical black girls, it was everything! The best part of the night had to be when she won her Vanguard award and dedicated it to black women everywhere.
And so, you know my success, it started as my dream. But now my success is not my own, you know? It’s my family’s. It’s my fans. It’s my country’s. It’s the Caribbean as a whole. It’s women. It’s black women.
Alicia Keys’ MLK Tribute
If you didn’t know, the MTV VMA’s happened to land on the anniversary of MLK’s famous “I Had a Dream” speech. Never one to stay quiet about real issues, Alicia Keys shared a heartfelt poem and a moving speech about love and tolerance before presenting the Best Male Video Award. Not only did she speak such wise words, she also sang a bit about the importance of unity, all while standing barefaced, committed to her no-makeup movement. Her strength and dedication is a continued inspiration to women everywhere that true beauty comes from within.