One of the highlights of my summer is speaking at the Black Girls Lead conference. My aim is always to encourage the girls, but they inevitably inspire me more, as does their dynamic convener, Beverly Bond. Before founding and serving as Executive Director of Black Girls Rock!, Beverly etched herself into our girlhoods as one of the premier DJs in the world. Her celebrity clients include Prince, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jay Z, and Martha Stewart. Music is her game. Versatility is her middle name.
When she became concerned about the impact that negative portrayals of black women were having on girls, she decided to start a summer camp to ensure they learned about and celebrated their beauty and power. Twelve years later she's grown Black Girls Rock! into an unstoppable brand. The annual awards show on BET garners 2.1 million viewers and commands the #1 spot for black households during its time slot. In order to be such a powerhouse, Beverly has learned that she can't do everything.
When I was recently hanging out with her at the Power Rising Summit, one of the things that I was surprised she's had to drop the ball on is makeup. "I once tried to do it myself and it was a disaster." To a former Wilhelmina model and a mainstay in the entertainment industry, this is a legitimate problem. Her solution was less inspired by Alicia Keys (another one of her clients who has stopped wearing makeup altogether) and more inspired by convenience: she now outsources to a professional. But the point is that she knows her limits and has a plan of action. I'm thrilled that Beverly has recently added another title to her impressive lineup, author. Her first book, Black Girls Rock!: Owning Our Magic. Rocking Our Truth was released this week. Rock on, Beverly.