Since its inception over a decade ago, Black Girls Rock! has consistently come through with music performances that remain etched in our memories. But the true animus of this annual homage to Black womanhood is to shine a spotlight on our incredible achievements, even those that were birthed from tragic circumstances. For this year's ceremony, the Mothers of the Movement – Sybrina Fulton, Geneva Reed-Veal, Gwen Carr, Congresswoman Lucy McBath, Maria Hamilton and Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley – received the Community Change Agent Award. Maimouna Youssef rose to the occasion with "Say My Name," delivering an unforgettable performance and challenging us not to become desensitized to the ongoing injustices against Black people in this country.
Ms. Youssef stepped onto the stage looking regally radiant in a golden dress, shimmering black and gold cape, and gilded flowers adorning her waist-length, ruby-red braid. With poignant soulfulness, her sincere vocals gave us chills as she sang reverential lyrics about innocent victims who lost their lives because of police brutality. Meanwhile, images of protest created a powerful visual backdrop. As she held the audience captive, our girl transformed into Mumu Fresh (supported by The Vintage Babies partner, DJ Dummy) to drop a defiant verse. The stage became a choir loft as additional singers joined her for a rousing gospel ending. Watch the stirring performance below and never forget to #SayHerName.