Following the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, theGrio hosted,” an afterparty geared toward uplifting Black media professionals and honoring theGrio’s April Ryan, the longest-serving Black female White House correspondent.
Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, and actor, Mary J. Blige ended the night with a six-song performance. After her throwback-filled show, she sat down with theGrio’s Natasha S. Alford.
Throughout her life, Blige has had to overcome many obstacles.
“There was a time in my life when I didn’t believe in myself and I didn’t love myself,” she told theGrio. But, now, I love myself and I believe in myself more than anybody.” The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul draws inspiration from her resilience, from not being afraid of what people have to say, and the pride she takes in her journey thus far.
“That’s what inspires me,” she said. “Giving that honor to God and continuing to get all the strength and love from him and keep pushing myself forward, so that’s why I’m living. I’m living now for Mary.”
Women around the world are prioritizing their mental health while breaking down barriers in various industries. Black women, especially, are making progress and reclaiming their voices. Blige told theGrio she believes the advancement of Black women is “extremely important,” since they have been forced into the background for a long time.
The Black community is entering a new era of innovation, ownership, and growth and Blige says that Black entrepreneurs create a lasting legacy.
“People need to see us in this light, in a stronger light: owning things, owning a business, and in the front line of it,” she said. “It’s just amazing to see us.”
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