Max­ine Wa­ters, the rock star, shines at black women's event

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Fiery Demo­cratic US Rep Max­ine Wa­ters was wel­comed like a con­tem­po­rary rock star when she en­tered the 2017 Black Girls Rock Awards, as the au­di­ence screamed loudly and gave her the night's row­di­est and wildest applause. Wa­ters was one of the hon­orees Sat­ur­day at the an­nual event hon­or­ing black women in fields such as en­ter­tain­ment, pol­i­tics, science and so­cial jus­tice. The 78year-old matched the en­ergy of the au­di­ence at the New Jersey Per­form­ing Art Cen­ter in Ne­wark with a punchy and mov­ing speech, which fea­tured her catch phrase "re­claim­ing my time."

"I want you to know, if it was not for the love and re­spect shown to me by black women, those right-wing ul­tra con­ser­va­tives ... they would have me be­lieve I'm too black, I'm too con­fronta­tional, I'm too tough, and I'm too dis­re­spect­ful of them," she said. "But now I know I'm sim­ply a strong, black woman." "I don't care how big you are, I don't care how high you are, if you come for me, I'm com­ing for you," Wa­ters added, earn­ing more loud applause.

Videos of the Cal­i­for­nia con­gress­woman, who has been crit­i­cal of Repub­li­can Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, have be­come a vi­ral suc­cess on so­cial me­dia, in­clud­ing one where she in­sisted that she was "re­claim­ing my time" at a re­cent con­gres­sional hear­ing. She's struck a chord with mil­len­ni­als and has even earned the nick­name, "Aun­tie Max­ine."

Wa­ters was joined by a top notch group of hon­orees at the BET event, in­clud­ing iconic singer Roberta Flack; "In­se­cure" cre­ator and Golden Globe nom­i­nee Issa Rae; Grammy-win­ning soul singer Solange Knowles; Wall Street pow­er­house Suzanne Shank; "black-ish" ac­tress and Har­vard stu­dent Yara Shahidi; and com­mu­nity or­ga­niz­ers Der­rica Wil­son and Natalie Wil­son of the Black & Miss­ing Foun­da­tion. Os­car-nom­i­nee Taraji P Henson hosted the multi-hour event. Flack, known for hit songs like "Killing Me Softly with His Song" and "Feel Like Makin' Love," was wheel­chair bound but re­cited a speech from pa­per that won over the au­di­ence.

"Love is a song. Each of you has a song in your heart," 78year-old Flack said. "You keep singing that song." R&B singers In­dia. Arie and Tyrese smoothly sang Flack and Donny Hath­away's pop­u­lar 1970s duet, "Where Is the Love." Other per­form­ers at the show, to air on BET on Aug 22, in­cluded SZA, Le­disi, An­thony Hamil­ton and Tasha Cobb.

Each of the cel­e­brants were in­ducted by men, in­clud­ing "black-ish" ac­tor An­thony An­der­son, soul singer Max­well, "In­se­cure" star Jay El­lis and ac­tor-singer Jussie Smol­lett. Knowles - who won her first Grammy Award this year for her crit­i­cally ac­claimed al­bum cel­e­brat­ing black pride, "A Seat at the Ta­ble" - called the award "the ul­ti­mate honor." "Black women make me feel in­vin­ci­ble," she said. — AP

Con­gress­woman Max­ine Wa­ters, right, and hus­band Sid Wil­liams at­tend the Black Girls Rock Awards.

In­dia Arie at­tends the Black Girls Rock Awards.

Le­disi per­forms on stage.

In­dia Arie and Tyrese Gib­son per­form on stage.

Honoree Suzanne Shank at­tends the Black Girls Rock Awards.

Honoree Roberta Flack at­tends the Black Girls Rock Awards.

Honoree Issa Rae at­tends the Black Girls Rock Awards.

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