The 6th Annual 2013 Essence Black Women In Hollywood was a star studded event. Many Black Women In Hollywood were honored. While they all were beautiful and stood out. Gabrielle Union delivered a very inspiring and empowering speech that captivated her audience and brought many to tears. The recipient of the ‘Fierce and Fabulous’ award, Gabrielle stood before the crowd and opened her heart and spoke pure honesty. This speech moved me and reminded me why I set out on the quest to change the woman that I am today and continuously work toward motivating and empowering women. I hope that her speech inspires you all just as much as it did me. Read the speech in it’s entirety below.
“We live in a town that rewards pretending. I had been pretending to be fierce and fearless for a very long time. I was a victim masquerading as a survivor. I stayed when I should have run. I was quiet when I should have spoken up. I turned a blind eye to injustice instead of having the courage to stand up for what’s right. I used to shrink in the presence of other dope beautiful women. I used to revel in gossip and rumors, and I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone who I felt whose shine diminished my own.
It’s easy to pretend ‘to be fierce and fearless because living your truth takes real courage. Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and they work to correct them. We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self-promotion. We don’t stand by and let racism and sexism and homophobia run rapid on our watch. Real fearless and fierce women complement other women and we recognize and embrace that their shine in no way diminishes our light and that it actually makes our light shine brighter.
So many of us in this room are sisters. We don’t always get to see each other and it’s good to see you here today. Women who we’ve laughed with, cried with, and struggled with, thank you for not turning your back on me, thank you for not tap dancing on my misery, even when I wasn’t always returning the favor.”