First lady sparks outrage over appearance on ‘Black Girls Rock!’


First Lady Michelle Obama’s appearance on BET’s “Black Girls Rock!” show that aired on Easter Sunday was a definite plus for some, but for others, it was more of a downer.

Michelle Obama sits by Cicely Tyson and BET CEO Debra Lee during the show.(BET)
Michelle Obama sits by Cicely Tyson and BET CEO Debra Lee during the show.  (BET)

In a series of complaints left on Obama’s Instagram page, folks voiced their disappointment with the first lady for participating in an event that solely highlighted African-American girls.

“I am all for the empowerment of disadvantaged groups, I just don’t see how alienating an oppressed group i.e. women by focusing on a subset of that group, helps anyone,” one commenter wrote.

“If a white person posted this and it said white girls rock…the sh-t would hit the fan,” wrote another person voiced.

‘ALL girls rock’
The negative feedback from Obama’s appearance at “Black Girls Rock!” comes after #whitegirlsrock became a trending topic on Twitter during last year’s broadcast of the event. On March 28, Obama’s personal aide Kristin Jones announced that she would be taking over the first lady’s Instagram account.

“Black Girls Rock is leaving out all other girls of color. Brown is a color, yellow is a color, red is a color and yes, white is still a color. One day racism will end because we no longer NOTICE the color of our fellow human beings. ALL girls rock,” an Instagram user posted.

Badu, Tyson honored
Despite the criticism, there were many people on Instagram who voiced their support of Obama’s involvement in “Black Girls Rock!”

“To all my fellow white women: Why is uplifting our sisters of color a bad thing for us, exactly? Go read the news, see a movie, or watch TV, and look at the stereotypes of African-Americans still face, especially young women. This group of ladies need to know that that image is not their reality #BlackGirlsRock,” an Instagrammer expressed.

Nadia Lopez (Brooklyn’s Mott Hall Bridges Academy), Cicely Tyson, Erykah Badu, Ava DuVernay, Helene D. Gayle (CARE USA) and Jada Pinkett Smith were among the honorees at the event, which featured performances by Badu, Ciara, Faith Evans and Fantasia.

Other performers included Estelle, Sheila E., Lalah Hathaway, Cheryl Lynn, Alicia Myers, Jill Scott and Kathy Sledge. Tracee Ellis Ross and Regina King again hosted the event.

Check BET for the next airing of the show.


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