Newark Girls Rock Takes Over 'Taste'
In the spirit of celebrating black girls and their endless contributions to society one Newark resident decided to work to bring some of her favorites together. On the evening of August 22nd Christina Bright hosted “Newark Girls Rock” at Newark’s Taste. The event, which was a viewing party for the “Black Girls Rock!” awards ceremony held annually at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, brought together local artists, entertainers, designers, media mavens, business owners, and activists.
After expressing some concerns on social media Bright created the hashtag #NewarkGirlsRock hashtag as a way to bring attention to the awesome women she was interacting with in the city and foster intentional inclusion surrounding the celebration around the show.
Taste is a minority-owned business that has been a welcome addition to the revitalization efforts in the city. While some residents worry about being left behind “Taste”, “Vonda’s Kitchen”, and others represent how the changes in the city don’t have to siphon off its culture.
Attendees were treated to music, happy hour specials, and free raffles where the prizes included tee shirts, beauty products, a week of prepared meals from Celebrity Chef Alexia Grant, and even a bicycle.
Grant struck a pose with the hostess whom she has collaborated with on several projects including the “Art of Conversation” event series.
Everyone took a break from the party to slip outside and snap some photos.
I spotted some of my friends snapping a few selfies.
Newark native and one of the public relations experts behind the explosive press coverage of this year’s breakout documentary “STEP” Syreta J. Oglesby showed up sporting her “Black Girls Rock!” tee and a bright smile.
While the night was dedicated to uplifting girls and women men and boys were welcome to join in on the fun. Bright danced in a circle with her crew to Cardi B.’s “Bodak Yellow” as her son beamed with pride in the distance.
Singer-songwriter Ivorie J showed up to lend his support.
Actor, director, artist and arts advocate Daryl Stewart kept the party going by hopping on the mic to engage everyone and doing a little twirl to remind everyone of his long-celebrated skills on and off the stage.
Desiree Hadley, founder of Newark based Urban Girl Magazine, arrived with her little one in tow.
Everyone showed off their great personal style. This beauty topped off her curls with a fedora.
While this young lady showed off her strength in a statement tee and a colorful scarf.
One-third of the Newark based “3 P's in a Pod" podcast embraced the cold shoulder trend.
“Dique!” host Sarah Vega was adorned by her signature tattoos including one that read 9-7-3.
Everyone cheered for the beautiful black women and girls being honored on screen including Yara Shahidi, Solange Knowles, and Jersey Girl Ibtihaj Muhammad.
The Maplewood native made history as the first Muslim American woman to compete on behalf of the United States thanks to her training at Columbia High School.
Newark has always has a thriving arts scene but many who grew up there have looked to neighboring locations like Soho, Harlem and Brooklyn when seeking community.
Now that the Newark Girls Who Rock are putting up a united front that community is on track continue to increase connections and facilitate change.