Beverly Bond Shows the World That ‘Black Girls Rock’

The renowned DJ tells how she turned a t-shirt slogan into a national movement

Former model-turned-celebrity DJ Beverly Bond is empowering young women of color with Black Girls Rock.

DJ Beverly Bond began her entertainment career rockin’ the turntables at the hottest clubs for crowds that included a who’s who of the entertainment and music business (think Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and Kimora Lee Simmons). Now she’s using her voice and talent to show black girls that they rock. Since 2006, Bond’s organization, Black Girls Rock Inc., has empowered adolescents and teens to expand their minds via the arts.

Bond has also highlighted the achievements of women of color via the Black Girls Rock awards, where the first honorees included DJ Jazzy Joyce and MC Lyte. This year Black Girls Rock is presenting its awards with a TV special in partnership with BET this Sunday, and honoring women including Raven-Symone, Iyanla Vanzant, and Ruby Dee, among others. talked with Bond about how a T-shirt mantra became a movement, how girls learn life skills via two turntables and a mic, and how women of color offer greatness to the world. Black Girls Rock started with a T-shirt. What inspired you to take your concept to the next level and start a nonprofit?
First I started the T-shirt and was thinking of all the incredible women to list on it. I was writing down all of these names and just couldn’t fit them all. In my attempt to try, I said, ‘This is bigger than just a shirt.’ So I decided to start a mentoring program.

How were you able to garner support for your organization and awards shows?
Good marketing. Black Girls Rock grew because the need was so great. Women have been speaking out about the negative images of Black women in the media. I’ve seen some powerful women who have said and done great things. The way I marketed Black Girls Rock … I said, ‘Here’s another option: Consider the greatness among black women.’

Also, a lot of people who gave me my original support were journalists. When I’d be interviewed because of something I was doing as a DJ in the industry, I’d tell them what I was trying to do with my nonprofit. I was also able to tap into my personal network and gain support from them.

Part of your program teaches the fundamentals of DJing. What life skills do the young ladies learn while doing this?
It’s using art as a tool to become their best selves. Through the arts they are learning to tap into their creative mind. They’re learning discipline, multitasking. When you DJ, you use all of your senses in different ways at the same time, stimulating your creativity, helping with self-discipline, and building work ethic.

Many schools have cut arts programs. What do you recommend young people do to find an alternative outlet?
Do your research on where you can find other arts programs if your school doesn’t offer any. If you want to be a musician, invest in an instrument and study. There are so many online courses. Try YouTube and tap into any free resources on the Web.

Also, sometimes you’ll find lessons outside of your school, i.e., an elder and others in your community could teach a class or lessons.

What advice do you give young women interested in following in your career footsteps?
Have the utmost respect for whatever artistic endeavors they wish to pursue and execute brilliantly. With the arts, people tend to think it’s okay to skip the work.

Black Girls Rock, hosted by Nia Long and featuring star-studded performances from artists including Ledisi, Jill Scott, Keyshia Cole and Monica, will air Sunday, Nov. 7 on BET.

See Beverly Bond’s list of 10 Reasons why Black Girls rock here.

Read more about black women and their achievements via our Women of Power coverage.

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  • Gwendolyn

    Because we’ve been tested through the ages and have triumphed MAR-VE-LOUS-LY!!

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  • Janis Harris

    i would like to purchase a “BLACK GIRL ROCK” t-shirt. please tell me i can purchase some t-shirts. i have 4 girls who i want them tp know that they ROCK

  • Callie Braswell

    Because WE love harder and deeper, no matter how many times ya kick us down….. WE ARE STILL STANDING!!!

  • Black Girl Rock because we dont know any other way!

  • Julia Jubee Burruss

    I just watched the BET Black Girls Rock Awards and I must say….I have never been more proud of my black sistahs! Each of them, their accomplishments and success stories was breathless – remarkable – and above all INSPIRING!
    Though there were many, some of the inspiring words I walked away with were: Have a sharp vision of who you are and what you want to be; Don’t try to be special because you are already special; and embrace who you are.
    It is my prayer that the moment you presented touched the hearts of millions of young ladies and encouraged them to never stop pursing their dreams because Black Girls do and can make a difference and BLACK GIRLS ROCK!

  • I love it. I am the father of two daughters (black girls)they need to know that they mean a great deal to this country.this youngest daughter is a dance.I need her to know that women like felicia rashad are dancers.she can be a dancer not a video girl. Thank you for black girls rock

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  • Lillian

    I would like to have Black Girls Rock…bookbags, tee shirts, and pajama’s to give as Christmas gifts to my daughters, and god daughters. I am so happy to finally have a positive image out there as bold and beautiful as all of the Black Girls…that rock.

    Thank you for pursuing your dream and making it a reality for all of us. Beverly Bond you make us all PROUD!!!!!!

  • @Lillian and Janis Harris: You and go to to purchase the Black Girls Rock merchandise.

  • yolanda

    theres no other group of women,with such beauty in sooo many different forms,color,size,shapes,hairstyles.we as black women bring it all to the table,thats why we ROCK!!!!

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  • ana

    Yes Indeed, Black Girls Rock! Often Imitated,but Never Duplicated! We are the BOMB!

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  • James

    I would like to get a couple of the t-shirts myself, if possible. Where do I need to search for them?

  • Lisa Jenkins

    I really enjoyed the show. I would like to purchase Black Girls Rock t-shirts in plus sizes. could you please inform me on how to go about doing so. Thanks much…

  • Kenyetta

    To my sistahs, Bea and Cassie. You rock! We need this positive image to show the world that black girls (women) are special; more valuable than gold and more precious than diamonds. Thanks Beverly Bond. I am Kenyetta, a black girl, and I rock!

  • Very good written information. It will be supportive to anyone who employess it, as well as me. Keep up the good work – looking forward to more posts.

  • Lisa Sykes

    Thank you, from a grandmother raising 3 black girls who need to know as well as see that there are positive things going on in this world at all ages. The sky is the limit to their success. Black Girls Rock.

  • Alyssa Nolan

    I thank God for giving Beverly Bond this great oppurtunity to make a difference in not only Black girls lives, but in my life. As a eighteen year old black teen I know how life may seem sometimes. I want to make a difference and Black Girls Rock has inspired me even more to do so. It’s so important that we left each other up as black girls, we so often feel left behind. Sometimes we feel like we have to do the most degrading things to feel like someone. But if we know our self worth and ability we can do so many bigger and greater things. It may start off as something so small but if it has a positive meaning God will surely work it out. I’m working so hard to be apart of Black Girls Rock.

  • Claudine

    I am a mother and a Black woman. Thank you for you inginuity and courage in creating BGR which to be frank, was looong overdue!! BGR in every country and continent all over the world because we’ve had to in oder to survive the struggle with a smile whilst caring sharing and hiding those tears. Thank you THANK YOU!!! Charles Darwin turn in your grave and witness the TRUE EVOLUTION!! To all My Rocking sisters ‘You Rock with SOUL’ generation after generation and our evolution cannot be stopped!! xoxoxoxox

  • Claudine

    I am a mother and a Black woman. Thank you for you inginuity and courage in creating BGR which to be frank, was looong overdue!! BGR in every country and continent all over the world because we’ve had to in oder to survive the struggle with a smile whilst caring sharing and hiding those tears. Thank you THANK YOU!!! Charles Darwin turn in your grave and witness the TRUE EVOLUTION!! To all My Rocking sisters ‘You Rock with SOUL’ generation after generation and our evolution cannot be stopped!! xoxoxoxox

  • stacey smith

    I would like to know how I can purchase a plus size black girls rock t-shirt.

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  • Laronda Dixon

    God bless you for using your voice for greater good to help others.  Black girls have always had talents that the rest of the world can benefit from.  We are the mothers of life and take so much pride in the lives and projects we bring forth.  Thank you for all you do to help us spread the word about how we can make life better for the next person.  May you continue to enhance the lives of many more BLACK GIRLS.  Forward information so that I may order my own BLACK GIRLS ROCK t-shirt.  Be blessed and pray that my project for diabetes finds a benefactor of you magnitude.

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