UPDATE: Watch Rihanna's Heartfelt NAACP Award Acceptance Speech
“Tonight is not really about me.”
UPDATE (February 4, 2020): On February 22, Rihanna accepted the NAACP’s highest honor, the President’s Award, in recognition of her charitable work and ongoing dedication to philanthropy. Rih took the stage at the organization’s 51st Image Awards in California over the weekend to deliver a heartfelt speech that touched on her non-profit, the Clara Lionel Foundation, as well as larger issues affecting the black community.
“I’m going to try to keep this simple because tonight is not really about me,” the singer 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,” she added. Expanding on the themes of solidarity and unity, she continued:
If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that we can only fix this world together. We can’t let the de-sensitivity seep in…How many of you have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? They want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Then this is their problem too. So when we’re marching and protesting about the Michael Brown Jr.’s and the Atatiana Jefferson’s of the world, tell your friends to pull up.
Watch Rihanna’s full NAACP President’s Award acceptance speech above.
ORIGINAL STORY (February 4, 2020): The NAACP has announced that Rihanna will receive the organization’s top honor, the President’s Award, in recognition of special achievements and outstanding public service. The honor will be presented to the chart-topping musician, FENTY designer and philanthropist at the NAACP’s 51st Image Awards in Pasadena, California.
“Rihanna has not only enjoyed a groundbreaking career as an artist and musician but has also distinguished herself as a stellar public servant,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “From her business achievements through FENTY to her tremendous record as an activist and philanthropist, Rihanna epitomizes the type of character, grace, and devotion to justice that we seek to highlight in our President’s Award.” Rihanna will join a long line of distinguished recipients including Jay-Z, Venus Williams, Muhammed Ali and Lauryn Hill.
The NAACP President’s Award will be presented to Rihanna on February 22. You can catch the ceremony during a live event stream on BET starting at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. Central).
- Rich Fury/Getty Images