Rihanna was awarded with the President's Award at the 51st annual NAACP Image Awards on Saturday. The 32-year-old, just had celebrated her birthday in Mexico a week earlier recieved standing ovation as she walked on stage to accept the prestigious award.
NAACP President Derrick Johnson was there to present Rihanna the award. The ceremony was broadcasted live on the BET channel and gave a motivational speech about unity and equality.
“I’m going to try to keep this simple because tonight is not really about me because the purpose is bigger than me, right?” she began. “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’s being done in this world and the work that has yet to be done.”
Lisso, Janelle Monáe, and Tracee Ellis Ross were several celebrities amongst the crowd watching Rihanna as she stressed the importance of people from all walks of life coming together.
“I mean, how many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? Show of hands. Well, 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 Juniors and Atatiana Jeffersons of the World, tell your friends to pull up.”
RiRi concluded her speech by thanking the NAACP and celebrating her black ethnicity heritage and thanking the black community.
“Thank you to the NAACP for all of your efforts to ensure equality for our communities. Thank you for celebrating our strength and tenacity. We’ve been denied opportunities since the beginning of time. Still, we prevail. so I’m honored. Imagine what we can do together. Thank you for this honor.”
Previous recipients of the prestigious NAACP President's Award include Jesse Jackson, JAY-Z, Lauryn Hill, Colin Powell and Muhammad Ali to name a few.