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Black Girls Rock! 2016 - Show

Source: Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty

Politics is all about knowing when and where to be, to address a certain audience. Fully aware of this strategy, presidential candidate Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an appearance at the BET Black Girls Rock! 2016 show last night at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ.

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The annual event that applauds black women in a variety of fields honored Rihanna, Gladys Knight, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, Amandla Stenberg, Danai Gurira, and Shonda Rhimes.

But Clinton surprised the audience with her presence and strong statements about black women. “My life has been changed by strong black women leaders,” she said as reported by ABC News. “There are still a lot of barriers holding back African Americans and black women in particular, so a gathering like this filled with so many powerful, strong women is a rebuke to every single one of those barriers.. All of our kids, no matter what zip code they live in, deserve a good teacher and a good school, a safe community and clean water to drink.”

Clearly there to appeal to a specific demographic, it was thoughtful for the former FLOTUS to drop by with kind words.

Even sweeter is what 28-year-old Bajan talent, Rihanna, had to say about the honor. “Thank you so much for celebrating us in a world that doesn’t celebrate us enough,” she said accepting her award.

Adding, “The minute you learn to love yourself you will not want to be anybody else. Role model is not the title they like to give me … (but) I think I can inspire a lot of young women to be themselves and that is half the battle… Hopefully one day I’ll be raising my own little black girl who rocks.”

BET Black Girls Rock! 2016, hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross, airs Tuesday, April 5 at 8P/7C.

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