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The 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards, normally styled as Black Girls Rock!,  was another star-studded time for the annual event. This year, beloved Democratic Party Congresswoman Maxine Waters took the stage and rocked the house with a rousing speech, and she was joined at the ceremony with the likes of Issa Rae, Solange Knowles, and more.

Auntie Maxine, as she’s affectionately called, clearly had the pulse of the evening this past Saturday (Aug. 5) at the New Jersey Performing Art Center in Newark, New Jersey. The longtime California politician delighted the crowd as she accepted the “Social Humanitarian” award with her speech. But it was Waters’ knowing wink to the crowd of when she referenced the “reclaiming my time” quip that went viral on social media that gained strong applause.

“I want you to know if it was not for the love and respect shown to me by black women, those right-wing ultra conservative, they would have me believe I’m too black, I’m too confrontational, I’m too tough, and I’m too disrespectful of them,” Waters said. “But now I know I’m simply a strong, black woman.”

Waters also said that she loves her nickname that social media has bestowed her with.

Other highlights of the ceremony included podium visits and the like from Insecure‘s Issa Rae, veteran singer and songwriter Roberta Flack, Solange Knowles and several other stars were in attendance and dazzled on the red carpet. Photos from the event can be found on the following pages.

The Black Girls Rock Awards were created by DJ and former model, Beverly Bond. This year’s ceremony was hosted by actress Taraji P. Henson.


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