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Back & Black AF: The 2021 BET Awards Lewks We Stan
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Back & Black AF: The 2021 BET Awards Lewks We Stan

Here's who showed up and showed out on culture's biggest night.

Beauty & Fashion

Black really is king and we are so happy we are gang! As we inch back into our new normal, we can't help but gush over the events we missed last year. The BET Awards is at the top of the list because of its Blackity, Black, Blackness. Since 2001, Black Entertainment Television has made it their business to highlight the achievements of our people in music and entertainment overall. This year marks the 20th year of the awards show that has always shown up and shown out as a true custodian of the culture.


In a press release, EVP of Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy, Connie Orlando, shared, "As we return LIVE with culture's biggest night, this year's show marks many firsts-including the highest number of performers in 21 years of BET Awards; and viewers can expect several surprise moments. Some of today's hottest talent will join us for our return to LA for an unforgettable night celebrating Black excellence."

This year's theme: The Year of the Black Woman. The stars are aligning to "honor and celebrate the immense cultural impact of Black women." From the ultimate cheerleader Taraji P Henson as the host, to showcasing the magic of superheroes like Stacey Abrams and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Queen Latifah, the motif couldn't be more accurate for this year and every year.

Of course, we are here for any celebration of Black women and we are also here for the lewks! After a year of no glam, this feels like Christmas. Keep reading for some of our favorites from this amazing show of Black excellence.

Taraji P. Henson

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

We love a hostess with the mostest and this multi-hyphenate boss came to slay dripping in Versace. The high-slit showing off her gorgeous gams, the cutouts, the colors – it's everything. The platform heels and long, silky-straight hair creates a true Hollywood getup ideal for tonight's show.

As the quintessential girls' girl, Taraji told People that she's so thrilled "that young Black and brown girls have a large selection of successful women to look up to like politician and activist Stacey Abrams and historic Vice President Kamala Harris."

Lonnie Chavis

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Somebody tell Lonnie Chavis that we aren't ready for him to grow up because he isn't Lil Randall anymore. Especially in this Dior fit because he looked fire in the matching silk suit. When he's not making us cry on This is Us, he's apparently showing us Black Boy Joy is so real.

Zendaya

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Leave it to the red carpet slayer, Zendaya, to give us all the BET Awards nostalgia we didn't even know we needed. Wearing vintage 2003 Versace, the style icon paid homage to Beyonce by wearing the same dress she donned at the 2003 BET Awards during her unforgettable "Crazy In Love" performance. Zendaya's stylist, Law Roach, always understands the assignment and tonight was no different.

Giveon

Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

It's not our Heartbreak Anniversary but we are fawning over Giveon's black on black outfit. God took his time with this Black man and we just want to stop and say thank you father!

Saweetie

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Our unproblematic queen, and bestie, Saweetie pulled up to the awards in the most queenly Dolce & Gabbana gown. Please get into this makeup look also because she is glowing like never before. It may have something to do with the way she minds her business and drinks her water but that's just our theory.

Lil Nas X

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

"MONTERO" singer, Lil Nas X, glided down the red carpet in a beautifully structured gown. He is living his Cinderella dream and we are so honored that we get to experience his light.

H.E.R.

Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

We can always depend on this songbird to serve up a crazy, sexy, cool lewk. Her take on the classic suit matches the star-studded night. Fun fact: H.E.R. is celebrating her birthday today at the BET Awards. What better way to celebrate than at the biggest night for the culture celebrating the amazingness of our Blackness.

Sevyn Streeter

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Aaliyah is definitely smiling down from heaven looking at Sevyn Streeter in this pearl-embellished ensemble. From her body giving what it's supposed to had gave to the matching headscarf, Sevyn was definitely a style stunner on tonight's carpet.

Chloe Bailey

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

One thing about the elder half of Chloe x Halle, she's going to break the internet when she leaves the house. Wearing a lace netted frock with leather undergraments, she is proof that Black girls are straight magic. Even her locs perfectly drape her face because they know their place on an angel's face.

Ciara

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Alexandre Vauthier must have sewn this onto CiCi's bawdy because it is perfection. She has always been a vision in her lewks but she has really stepped it up as of late; it's safe to say this is a Ciara stan account.

Tyler, the Creator

Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

Oh, Tyler. Thanks for being you. We need little Black boys to see your quirkiness and know that it's OK to try different things. We are not a monolith and that's what makes us.

Ashanti

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET

Baby, baby, baby, baby, babbbbbyyyyyyy... Ashanti always reigns supreme whenever she graces us with her presence. This Julien Macdonald gown exudes whimsy on the Long Island native's melanated skin. The high pony paired with the plunging neckline deserves its own award.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

Featured image by Rich Fury/Getty Images

'Wakanda Forever' Shows That Black People Can’t Win In The MCU

*Warning: this piece contains spoilers for Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever*

Wakanda Foreveris in a no-win situation.

The sequel to the Marvel Cinematic Universe juggernaut Black Panther has the monumental task of honoring its fallen king, Chadwick Boseman, and the character he played, T’Challa, all while continuing on the Black Panther mantel, introducing new characters Riri “IronHeart” Williams (who will have her own Disney+ series) and the antihero Namor and his underwater kingdom Talokan.

It’s impossible to do all of these things well in just one movie, though co-writer and director Ryan Coogler’s effort is valiant. The love for Boseman is palpable, and Wakanda Forever gives us the opportunity to mourn him together, just as we celebrated him in community during Black Panther’s 2018 run.

Though I left the theater in tears after both Black Panther and Wakanda Forever, back in 2018 I wasn’t immediately sure why. This time around, it’s much more clear what hurts: Black people can’t win in the MCU.

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We’re pleased to announce that ElevateHer, your favorite online marketplace, is back and better than ever!

Launched in 2021 with the mission of connecting xoNecole shoppers to small Black women-owned businesses, th ElevateHer shop has returned with even more fly finds for the holiday season! As our tribe knows, xoNecole doesn't just talk about supporting Black women business owners, we infuse the love in everything we do. Our brand has always emphasized the importance of highlighting Black women entrepreneurs through our editorial platform and events, which is why we’re thrilled to bring back our newest ElevateHer Shop, powered by SheaMoisture!

Our 2022 iteration of ElevateHER showcases 100 Black-women-owned products that spark holiday joy in five curated collections. Our list includes self-care (Treat Yourself), cozy homewares (Dope Adobes), perfect presents for your significant other (It’s The You For Me), style (It’s A Lewk), and the best in beauty and skincare (Glowin’ & Poppin’) - we have it all!! No matter who you’re shopping for, you're guaranteed to find that wow factor in every gift!

To complement our ElevateHer shop, we’ve elevated the experience with a plethora of interactive moments. In partnership with SheaMoisture, we’ll be highlighting holiday hair stories that will inspire your next big 2023 look. We’ll also curate shopping guides for Black Friday, to make shopping for Black-owned products as easy as possible. And lastly, but most excitingly - for the first time, our team tapped 5 entrepreneurs featured in the shop to be our ElevateHer Ambassadors! To get to know them better, each ElevateHer ambassador will represent a specific category, and xoNecole will highlight each ambassador’s inspiring story of success! And the good vibes don't stop there! Each ambassador will host an Instagram giveaway where you'll get a chance to win a product from their storefront as well as $100 worth of SheaMoisture goodies!

Shop with us. Read with us. Get inspired with us. And most importantly, Elevate with us!

Visit xonecole.com/shop to browse this year's collections.

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