WATCH | Rihanna delivers moving speech at 2020 NAACP Image Awards: 'Tell your friends to pull up'
Rihanna received rousing applause after her moving speech on Saturday night at the 2020 NAACP Image Awards in California.
Accepting the prestigious President’s Award, the What's My Name hitmaker called for unity across races, sexes and religions to tackle issues facing the world.
Rihanna also issued a call to action for friends and allies “to pull up” for black issues and work alongside one another to bring about change.
“Tonight is not really about me, because the purpose is bigger than me, right? 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 is being done in this world and the work that is yet to be done,” said Rihanna.
“If there’s anything I’ve learnt, it’s that we can only fix this world together. We can’t do it divided. I cannot emphasise that enough. We can’t let the desensitivity seep in.”
Rihanna received the award for her music career, influence in fashion and charity work through her Clara Lionel Foundation, a non-profit organisation that raises millions of dollars for disaster relief, global education and awareness for issues affecting communities worldwide.
Watch the video below:
The singer also stressed that nothing can be done without the support of others.
“The ‘if it’s your problem, then it’s not mine', it’s a woman’s problem', it’s a black people problem', it’s a poor people problem' ... How many of us in this room have colleagues and partners and friends from other races, sexes, religions? They want to break bread with you, right? They like you? Well then, this is their problem too. So when we’re marching and protesting and posting about the Michael Brown juniors and the Atatiana Jeffersons of the world, tell your friends to pull up.”
Jefferson and Brown Jnr were both shot by police officers.
Her speech saw her topping the trending list on Twitter, as many, including EFF leader Julius Malema, gave her the thumbs up.
Here is a snapshot of what social media users had to say.
“We can only fix this world together. We can’t do it divided.” -@rihanna— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) February 23, 2020
It was an honor to present the @NAACP President’s Award to Rihanna, who sets such a philanthropic and compassionate example for our community. #NAACPImageAwards pic.twitter.com/HQfasoj9Rp
i know i’m a supreme judge of character cause i chose to stan rihanna back in 2005. ?— flo$$y (@FUCCl) February 23, 2020
Love the woman Rihanna is becoming publicly, in spite of entering this industry as an impressionable, vulnerable teen at the mercy of men who tried to stamp out her light.— Octavia Butler knew... (@NotNikyatu) February 23, 2020
Her 30 something confident awareness is palpable. I stan hard.✨ https://t.co/L2h8wf04yN