Black Girls Rock! is a celebration that offers inspiration and hope to the next generation that they will close the wage gap and flourish against all opposition. Presented by BET and hosted by Taraji P. Hensonl Maxine Waters, Issa Rae, Black Enterprise BE 100s CEO Suzanne Shank, and more were honored for the work they do in their careers and in the community at the 2017 show.
We spoke with Antonique Smith, Mack Wilds, Bevy Smith, and more on their career advice to young black girls on the red carpet at Black Girls Rock 2017.
Grammy-nominated singer and actress Antonique Smith, whom we profiled when she hosted a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch her music career, shared her thoughts on what young women need to know to be successful in their careers. She said, “Know how incredible you are…Continue to focus on loving yourself and strengthening your inner-being so that nobody can say anything to you that makes you feel less than who you are.”
“You’re a queen. You are standing on the shoulders of other queens that have led the way for you. Anything you want to do is at your fingertips,” said Wilds. He also credited his early training in religion, education, and more to his growth.
Bevy Smith, who started out as a marketing executive before becoming one of fashion’s most celebrated TV hosts, gave a career gem to young women interested in a career in television. Smith said, “You have to find your passion. You have to find what you’re really good at because everything is not for everybody. There’s myriad ways to be on TV, so you have to find the one that works for you.”