Michelle Obama declares ‘Black Girls Rock!’

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated the beauty, power and tenacity of black women while spreading her own message of education for girls at Black Girls Rock!, an annual event honoring trailblazing women of color from all walks of life.

“No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, you are beautiful,” Obama told the crowd, which included many young black girls.

“I am so proud of you. My husband, your president, is so proud of you,” she added. “We have so much hope and dreams for you.”

Obama was not among the honorees at Saturday night’s festivities, held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. That distinction went to actress Jada Pinkett Smith, singer Erykah Badu, actress Cicely Tyson, “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, educator Nadia Lopez and Dr. Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, a humanitarian organization.

However, Obama was the…

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