by Megan French
Originally published: July 12, 2016
Queen Latifah gave a passionate speech about racism at the 2016 VH1 Hip Hop Honors: All Hail the Queens on Monday, July 11, in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests around the country.
The singer-actress, 46, praised her fellow female artists for paving the way for the hip-hop genre. “All of these queens in this building, we built hip-hop,” she said referencing fellow honorees such as Salt-N-Pepa, Missy Elliott and Lil’ Kim. “We built hip-hop. And there’s no way that I can allow us to be erased from the history or the future of hip-hop. So understand that this has been happening for a long time and it will continue.”
The “Ladies First” singer, who was honored with a tribute by Common, addressed high racial tensions following the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and the five Dallas police officers. “Listen we all know that the world, that our world, is really tense right now. It’s a lot of angst. It’s a lot of hurt. A lot of pain,” she said. “I’m hoping that we can somehow manage to channel all of these emotions that we have in a positive way by not taking ’no’ and really do something to change our world.”