Black Girls Rock! and bold soul sisters sound off!

Dr. Helene Gayle, Erykah Badu, Nadia Lopez, First Lady Michelle Obama, Regina King, Tracee Ellis Ross, Beverly Bond, Debra Lee, Ava Duvernay, Cicely Tyson (l to r)/Courtesy of BET
Dr. Helene Gayle, Erykah Badu, Nadia Lopez, First Lady Michelle Obama, Regina King, Tracee Ellis Ross, Beverly Bond, Debra Lee, Ava Duvernay, Cicely Tyson (l to r)/Courtesy of BET

Women’s History Month drew to a close, or should we say a crescendo this past week with two special March end-of-the-month events, where women were celebrated and given a platform to share their thoughts on a host of topics, including the F word: feminism.

At the Apollo Theater’s panel discussion, Bold Soul Sisters: A Revolution of Sound and Style, moderated by music journalist and essayist Christian John Wikane, four legendary recording artists (Rochelle Fleming of First Choice, Nona Hendryx of Labelle, Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters, and Kathy Sledge of Sister Sledge reflected on the cultural impact of 1970s girl groups who revolutionized the scene with their progressive style, provocative lyrics, and feminist stance.


Kathy Sledge/Credit: c. bay milin
Kathy Sledge/Credit: c. bay milin

The taping of BET’s Black Girls Rock! show at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, included several musical offspring of the aforementioned acts with the likes of Erykah Badu, Lalah Hathaway, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, and more. Taking its namesake from the nonprofit organization founded by DJ and philanthropist, Beverly Bond, Black Girls Rock! honored women from actress Cicely Tyson (Living Legend Award) to educator Nadia Lopez (Change Agent Award). And oh yeah, first lady Michelle Obama just so happened to make an appearance during the show, which airs Easter Sunday, April 5 at 7 p.m. EST.

Check out our highlights from each event where the women in attendance discussed the state of feminism, the connection between Black women and gay men, and intergenerational communication.


On Gloria Steinem’s recent suggestion in Black Enterprise magazine that Black women invented the feminist movement:

Lalah Hathaway/Courtesy of BET
Kathy Sledge/Credit: c. bay milin

“Gloria is the chick you associate with that word, feminism. So it is interesting and layered that she said that. Feminism sometimes has this stigma attached to it. But I embrace that idea that Black women carried a lot of things on their shoulders like culture. I already know who I am as a Black woman and culturally where I stand, but it is interesting.”

Lalah Hathaway

To read the entire column click here.

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