Michelle Obama, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett and best of 'Black Girls Rock' 2015

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Michelle Obama turned the annual “Black Girls Rock!” extravaganza at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
Taking place during Women’s History Month, and co-hosted by actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King, “Black Girls Rock!” celebrated the accomplishments of women of color in education, social justice, music, literature and film.
Honorees included New York City educator Nadia Lopez, principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn; actresses Cicely Tyson and Jada Pinkett-Smith; singer Erykah Badu; and film director Ava DuVernay, whose Selma won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Motion Picture; and Helene D. Gayle, M.D., president and CEO of CARE USA, a humanitarian organization.
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“I know there are voices that you are not good enough,” the first lady said. “No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful.
“I am so proud of you,” the first lady continued. “My husband, your president, is so proud of you. We have so much hope and dreams for you.”
Obama also emphasized the importance of education, saying three teenage honorees were able to accomplish their dreams through the resources of their education.
One of the most touching moments of the evening came when actor and entrepreneur Will Smith paid tribute to his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, who received the Star Power Award. He spoke tearfully about their 20-year relationship and seized the moment to dismiss tabloid divorce rumors.
“In that brief moment my heart jumped for a second and I started to imagine what my life would have been like without that woman,” he said. Their daughter, Willow, cheered from the audience as her parents shared a passionate kiss that ended with Will Smith placing a hand on his wife’s posterior.

 
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Cicely Tyson, who sat alongside the first lady in the second row, accepted the Living Legend Award at the close of the evening.
“[I]f you live long enough, you get to see everything,” Tyson said, with the first lady cheering her on. “The moment anyone tries to demean or degrade you in any way, you have to know how great you are.”
You can watch the recorded show on BET on Sunday, April 5 at 7.

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