Janelle Monae’s acceptance speech for her ‘Young Gifted and Black Award ‘ at the BET’S Black Girls that Rock Award show 2012 was not just an acceptance speech it was one that that was said straight from the heart.
Not as commercial as Rihanna or Beyonce, Janelle is a formidable talent in her own right who refuses to conform to the norms or be pinned in a box by the demands of the Industry. She is truly a role model for all young people to believe in yourself no matter what society may dictate .
So for those who missed the speech I have posted it here for you.
“When I started my musical career I was a maid, I used to clean houses. My parents—my mother was a proud janitor, my step-father who raised me like his very own worked at the post office and my father was a trash man. They all wore uniforms. And that’s why I stand here today in my black and white and I wear my uniform to honor them,” Monáe said, fighting back tears.
“This is a reminder that I have work to do, I have people to uplift, I have people to inspire,” she said after explaining that she grew up in Wyandotte County, “the poorest county” in Kansas City.
“And today I wear my uniform proudly as a Covergirl,” she told the audience reffering to her deal with the cosmetics giant.
Monáe then went on to deliver a message directed to her young fans but one that could resonate with fans of all ages and gender.
“I want to be clear young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Covergirl, I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned through my journey that perfection is the often the enemy of greatness. Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes other uncomfortable.”
This last line is what stood out the most to me and this is the message I want all young girls especially black girls to remember ‘Embrace what makes you unique’ as this is where our greatness lies.