How Taraji P. Henson Celebrated the Year of the Black Woman at 2021 BET Awards

Taraji P. Henson said celebrating Black women isn’t a fad or a trend, but a “forever mood” while hosting the 2021 BET Awards. Relive her opening message to fans.

By Mike Vulpo Jun 28, 2021 12:34 AMTags

Taraji P. Henson is once again using her platform for good.

While kicking off her hosting duties at the 2021 BET Awards on June 27, the Empire star took to the stage with a message to viewers across the country. While she was excited to celebrate "culture's biggest night" in the presence of a live audience, there was a bigger message at hand.

"Tonight you gonna get 100 percent of our full blackness," Taraji declared. "I'm going to tell you why. Because this is where we matter, where our Black entertainment matters. It's 2021 and we are celebrating the year of the Black woman. Period." 

She continued, "Look at us, though. Look around the room. Look at this power. The grace, the class, the edges. We are everything, honey. Celebrating Black women isn't a fad or a trend. It's a forever mood, okay? And there is more than enough room for all of us to thrive. 'Cause can't nobody be me like me. And can't nobody be you like you. And tonight, I'm giving my sisters their flowers."

Taraji later gave a shout out to fellow audience members including Zendaya and Issa Rae before giving credit to a few world-famous athletes unable to attend in person.

BET Awards 2021 Red Carpet Fashion

"Simone Biles, Naomi OsakaSha'Carri Richardson, we see you young queens," she shared. "I'm that girl too. And so when you see me, you see her. When you see her, you see me."


During her opening monologue, Taraji said she would be paying tribute to some of her favorite Black women with a variety of fashionable outfits.

And with help from celebrity hairstylist Tym Wallace and items from Tangle Teezer, the 50-year-old actress warned fans that she was going to have several show-stopping looks.

But before the show continued, the Howard University alum also gave a shoutout to all the Black men including Migos. who were set to take the stage next.

"We love you, we see you, kings," she shared. "And most importantly, we need you."

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