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Maxine Waters, Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi and More Honored at 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards [PHOTO]

Maxine Waters Issa Rae Yara Shahidi Black Girls Rock
Dia Dipasupil / Bennett Raglin / Dia Dipasupil, Getty Images

Democratic U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Insecure creator Issa Rae, black-ish star Yara Shahidi and Grammy-winning singer Solange Knowles were among the honorees at the 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards in Newark, N.J., on Saturday (Aug. 5).

The annual event was taped in front of a live audience for a later broadcast on BET this month. Oscar-nominee Taraji P. Henson hosted the star-studded affair, which salutes black women in the field of entertainment, social justice, community activism and politics.

Waters, a California congresswoman who has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and his policies, delivered a rousing speech about her fortitude as a black woman. “I want you to know, if it was not for the love and respect shown to me by black women, those right-wing ultra conservatives…they would have me believe I’m too black, I’m too confrontational, I’m too tough, and I’m too disrespectful of them,” she told the audience (quotes via Page Six). “But now I know I’m simply a strong, black woman.”

Other honorees included community activists Derrica Wilson and Natalie Wilson of the Black & Missing Foundation and legendary singer-songwriter Roberta Flack who also delivered a memorable speech. “Love is a song. Each of you has a song in your heart,” the 78-year-old soul icon said. “You keep singing that song.”

The Black Girls Rock Award also featured musical performances from Anthony Hamilton, SZA, Ledisi, and Tasha Cobb, while India.Arie and Tyrese performed the classic Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack duet “Where Is the Love” in honor of Flack.

During Solange’s acceptance speech, she summed up the Black Girls Rock Awards with these empowering words: “Black women make me feel invincible,” she said.

BET will air the 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards on Aug. 22 at 8PM ET. To check out more photos from the event, click here.

India Arie Tyrese Performs at Black Girls Rock
Jason Kempin, Getty Images
Beverly Bond Black Girls Rock! 2017
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

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