Angela Bassett gave a rousing speech on female empowerment at the Glamor Women of the Year event on Tuesday night.
The ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ star, who received a lifetime achievement award at the event, spoke about the brave women, on and off screen, who have made an impact on his life.
“We’re underrated like Rosa Parks, who was presumed sweet and sweet, speechless,” she said. “But one evening in December 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks said, ‘As that white driver backed up towards us…I felt a determination cover my body like a comforter on a winter night. His refusal to give up his seat on the bus that day historically spurred the fight for black civil rights in this country.
Bassett played Parks, a woman she called “the mother of the freedom movement,” in the 2002 TV movie, “The Rosa Parks Story.”
She then discussed the historic accomplishments of pilot Bessie Coleman.
“We’re fearless like Bessie Coleman, a manicurist at a local Chicago hair salon who wanted to learn to fly but was turned down by our nation’s flight schools,” she said. “She didn’t give up. Instead, she learned to speak French, attended flight school in France, and in 1921 became the first black and Native American female pilot. Brave Bessie, as she became known, built a successful business doing air shows, on a plane she owned, in this country, a country that tried to deny her dream.
Bassett had her breakout performance as Tina Turner in the 1993 film, ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’, so it was only fitting that she mention the icon. music.
“We are resilient like Tina Turner, who gave up everything she worked for, except her name, to free herself from abuse,” she said. “She started again, reimagining her career as a rock ‘n’ roll artist, a genre that no black woman had managed to chart. Tina Turner has become one of the world’s most admired and successful artists, earning induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on her own merit.
Bassett also spoke about his own mother.
“We are resourceful like my mother, Betty Jane, who was a single mother raising her daughters to be determined, proud women who could fend for themselves,” she said. “She often struggled to make ends meet, struggling to come out of nowhere, like us women do from time to time, but she always made sure we got exactly what we got. need.”
Other honorees from the event include Aurora James, HAIM, Jennifer Hudson, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts and Shannon Watts, who each appear on Glamor’s digital covers this month.
Bassett concluded his speech with a strong call to action.
“The legacy of these women and so many others is what keeps me going when the game seems stacked against me. Against us. And as I stand here tonight, I challenge us all to reflect on what our contributions will be to advancing humanity. What will you do to ensure that future generations of girls and women exist in a world of equality and equity? And when you’re told you can’t , or that you don’t want to, that it’s impossible, when doubt or fear begins to take hold of your mind, let determination cover your body like a duvet on a winter’s night. before. The world needs you, probably more than ever. The world has always needed us.