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Thousands of Black women gathered in Newark, N.J. last weekend to celebrate their beauty and Blackness for this year’s BET Black Girls Rock award show.

Rihanna was one of many women honored at the award show and accepted her accolades with a heartfelt and inspiring speech. The “Kiss It Better” singer started off with a light joke that prompted the audience to erupt in cheers and applause. “This is a very important moment for me… to be honored and celebrated just because I’m black,” she said.

She also touched on the strength of her mother and grandmother, and inspired young women to love themselves: “The minute you learn to love yourself, you would not want to be anyone else,” she said. 

If you missed the original airing of Black Girls Rock last night, you can catch a rerun of the award show on BET. If you’d like to see Rihanna in living color, see her live on her “ANTI World Tour.”

Watch Rihanna’s powerful speech above.

Watch Rihanna’s Inspiring Speech At BET’s Black Girls Rock  was originally published on globalgrind.com