The award ceremony took place at the NJPAC Prudential Hall in New Jersey Saturday evening. The First Lady didn’t receive an award, but was there to deliver a message of confidence and hope to Black girls and boys. During her speech, Obama touched on the importance of education and embracing your differences.
“No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful,” Obama said. “I am so proud of you. My husband, your president, is so proud of you. We have so much hope and dreams for you,” she told the crowd full of Black women and girls.
She also spoke to the lack of confidence in that girls can face, saying, “I know there are voices that you are not good enough. Each of those doubts was like a test that I either shrink away from or rise to meet. And I decided to rise.”
Hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King, celebrities honored included the legendary Cicely Tyson, Erykah Badu, Selma director Ava DuVernay, and Jada Pinkett Smith. Fantasia, Jill Scott and Badu also delivered show-stopping performances. Mrs. Obama sat with Tyson and danced throughout the show, even joining King on stage to sing Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.”
You can check out the show when it airs on BET April 5.