The 2021 Urban One Honors aired Sunday and there was Black excellence abound.
The night centered around heralding the exemplary accomplishments of ‘Women Leading the Change’ and was hosted by Roland Martin and Erica Campbell who provided witty banter, high energy, and even outfit changes!
The evening kicked off with a special message from Madam Vice President Kamala Harris who noted that “There is no sector.. no community.. no place in this country where the power of a Black Woman is not felt.”
Following that Da Brat and Avery Sunshine paid homage to The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, the first racially integrated all-women jazz band of the 1930s that included Helen Jones Woods, a founding member and mother of Urban One Founder and Chairwoman, Cathy Hughes.
Gospel songstress LeAndria Johnson was another showstopper for the evening and she took everyone to church with her soul-stirring vocals.
And of course, Jazmine Sullivan entranced viewers with her vocals during a groovy performance of “Pick Up Your Feelings.”
In addition to wowing us with the performances, the Urban One Honors of course celebrated the extraordinary impact women have made in business, media, health, and politics and the ceremony gave Black female change agents their flowers.
Those change agents were:
Roz Brewer of Walgreens – Founders Trailblazer Honor
Kim Ford of Martha’s Table Charity – Community Change Agent Honor
Robin Rue Simmons – Reparations Ambassador Honor
Dr. Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize winner behind The NY Times’ 1619 interactive project – Groundbreaking Excellence in Journalism Honor
Dr. Ala Stanford – Health Impact Champion Honor
and Stacey Abrams who took home the Visionary in Action honor.
During Stacey’s acceptance speech she encouraged people to remain steadfast in the fight against systemic oppression, something she’s passionate about it as a voting rights activist.
“Black women have not only led, they’ve created spaces for others to join,” said Stacey. “We will continue to call out injustice and dismantle systems designed to disempower us. And we will not capitulate when the slings and arrows strike because we know that when we fight, we win.”
The evening ended with Da Brat, Erica Campbell, LeAndria Johnson and Avery Sunshine having a sisterhood moment and tearing up the stage to Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.”
What a celebration of excellence, indeed!
Congrats to all the 2021 Urban One Honors honorees.