Slow clap to BET for the 2015 BET Awards. I must say, for the year we’ve been having, I am so glad that President Debra Lee and the good folks at the network put on a phenomenal show this year.
I was blessed enough to be able to come out to Los Angeles, California to attend the event, but I did so with a heavy heart. All year long, little Black boys and little Black girls, young Black boys and young Black girls, and older Black boys and older Black girls have been getting harassed, harmed, or killed because of a preconceived notion all based on the color of their skin.
We can’t listen to our music too loudly, play in the playground, shop at Walmart, go to a pool party, or even church without fear of being murdered. Being Black in a America is a hard thing. Yet last night, BET showed the world that it’s also one of the greatest things.
BET showcased all the best things about Black culture, including great voices we know like Alicia Keys, The Weeknd, and Patti LaBelle, as well as great voices we should know, like Andra Day, Jidenna, and Avery Wilson.
The BET Awards also captured our spirituality, with a gospel selection that had the audience lit. It showed our ability to include and honor everyone, with Sam Smith winning an award, Tori Kelly wowing us with her voice, and ladies going wild over Robin Thicke. One woman next to me screamed, “Get it, White chocolate!”
The Awards also gave us the several passing of torch moments, moments that showed us we’re going to be alright – whether it was Nicki Minaj’s shout-out to Dej Loaf, or lifetime achievement honoree Smokey Robinson schooling the youth, saying “you’re not the last in line, either.”
My favorite pass the torch moment was watching Ciara, Tinashe, and Jason Derulo honor Janet, because it proved Rhythm Nation is going to thrive for years to come.
I couldn’t help but think a little boy or girl was home last night and got inspired.
Tom Joyner, the radio jock who raised $65 million for HBCUs is still alive and kicking, and left a plethora of off-spring who are committed to keeping that legacy going.
The BET Awards was once the butt of many jokes, including the infamous running slam that the 15-year-old Awards show is so ratchet, it should be called the EBT Awards. However this year, they raised the bar, highlighted the best in us all, and set the standard for all award shows to come.
The MTV Awards, Billboard Awards, the Golden Globes, and the Oscars can all learn something from last night’s presentation: inclusivity and perseverance are what it’s all about. Let’s keep it going.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty