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BET Presents The 51st NAACP Image Awards - Press Room

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Rihanna Gives Inspiring Social Justice Speech At 2020 NAACP Image Awards

Rihanna took home the most prestigious trophy of the night at the 51st annual NAACP Image Awards and her acceptance speech was nothing short of stirring. The Bad Gal won the President’s Award for her philanthropic efforts, activism, musical endeavors, and Fenty fashion and beauty accolades.

Rih who donned a purple Givenchy gown for the night delivered a message about solidarity and encouraged people of all races to be allies to social justice movements. “This is their problem, too,” said Rih. “Tell your friends to pull up.”

“Tonight is not really about me, because the purpose is bigger than me, right?” said Rih. “It’s not bigger than us together, but it’s bigger than me, because my part is a very small part of the work that is being done in this world and the work that is yet to be done.”

“I’m lucky I was able to start the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012,” she continued. “If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that we can fix this world together. We can’t do it divided. I can’t emphasize that enough. We can’t let the desensitivity seep in — the ‘If it’s your problem, it’s not mine.’ ‘It’s a woman’s problem.’ ‘It’s a black people problem.’ ‘It’s a poor people problem.’ How many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? Show of hands? Well then, they want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem, too.

So when we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown, Jr.s and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up. Imagine what we could do together. Thank you for this honor.”

Alright now, Rihanna!

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Other President’s Awards winners include Jay Z, Lauryn Hill, and Jesse Jackson.

Watch Rih’s speech below.

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