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Angela Bassett's Icon Award Acceptance Speech Will Have You Feeling Empowered AF

There is one thing we all had in common when we opened our eyes this morning: purpose.

Culture & Entertainment

We all woke up in our own beds and prepared to slay the day in our respective industries, and although I'm sure our backgrounds are all very different, there is one thing we all had in common when we opened our eyes this morning: purpose. Angela Bassett reminded us of this fact in a speech she gave at the 2019 Black Girls Rock ceremony last Sunday which was a true reminder of the power of perseverance.

Channeling the energy of Betty Shabazz, Tina Turner, Katherine Jackson and the Queen Mother of Wakanda, Auntie Angela has epitomized Black excellence both on and off the big screen, and it's only right that she was the recipient of the Icon Award at this year's celebration of melanin.

Hosted by Niecy Nash, this year's award show featured appearances by industry giants, social media influencers, and up-and-coming artists alike who were all gathered together with one goal in mind: paying homage to the relentless beauty of Black women, and no one room should have all that power.

Angela was introduced by fellow entertainment legend, Regina King, and gave us our entire lives in her low-cut, sparkling dress. While taking the time to relish in her moment, Angela didn't leave the stage without dropping some knowledge about walking in your destiny.

While as a child, the now 61-year-old actress had no idea that she would one day become one of the most celebrated entertainers in the industry, something special happens when you say "yes" to your purpose. In her speech, she explained:

"My purpose as a Black woman, as an actress, has always been to portray excellence on the screen, to be proud, unapologetic and without regret."

As the first black student at her high school to ever be inducted into the National Honors Society, Angela was warned that she was wasting her Yale education on a degree in fine arts, but she is living proof that you can't listen to people that don't have your vision to see your dream, sis. Angela says that although during her journey she considered giving up, today, she's damn sure glad she didn't.

"It hasn't always been easy, and there have been tough times, days when the phone didn't ring, even after What's Love Got to Do With It. As well as moments of uncertainty and doubt. But what women like my mother, Betty Jane, and my Aunt Golden taught me was that there will be times when you seem to face insurmountable obstacles but that's when you dig deep into your soul with confidence and fortitude."

While it's easy for even the most magical Black girl to feel stagnant, Angela shared that the key to getting out of your rut is taking a second to remember who you are and adjust your crown:

"So when you're told you're not good enough, you tell them, not only am I good enough, I'm more than good enough. When they say send her back home, you tell them I am home. I am the foundation of what you call home. When they tell you that you're angry or nasty, you tell them that they're mistaken. This is me. This is me being resolute and standing firmly in my truth. And when they say you're not beautiful, you tell them that you are the descendant of royalty."

The actress also had this advice for women who sometimes feel weary when walking in their own truth and accepting their potential for greatness:

"We have much work to do and, together, we are unstoppable. Always remember that our voices, the very power that we hold individually, and all of us collectively, it does matter. Now is not the time to be silent. Find your purpose, pursue it relentlessly, passionately and loudly. Be persistent and win."

Watch Angela's full speech below!

Angela Bassett Gives An Empowering Speech As She Accepts The Icon Award | Black Girls Rock 2019www.youtube.com

Featured image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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