“Don’t be afraid of the power that you hold inside of you. We are the change that we’ve been looking for. Don’t be afraid to ignite the giant that is within you. It’s important to carry out that purpose and drop it into the generation ahead.” – Dominique Sharpton
We stopped by the largest expo for Black Women in New York City, held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center and it featured some of your favorite celebrities, incredible musical performances, thought provoking panels and tons of incredible vendors to shop. No better place to be empowered, inspired and celebrated as a black woman than WBLS’ annual Circle of Sisters Expo!
Maxwell and WBLS’ Shalia Scott hit the stage first to catch up on life and music with the Grammy Award Winning Singer, and to present him with the Renaissance Man Award. Maxwell wasn’t alone in being honored. Fashion legend Dapper Dan received the Style Icon Award and Four of the Exonerated Five were present and received the Freedom Fighter Award, recognizing their journey to vindication as portrayed in Ava DuVernay's Netflix series When They See Us, The Central Park 5.
We cannot deny the influence that music has. The drop of one beat can provide a sweet melodic high. Sounds from award-winning R&B soul singer and writer Brian Mcknight and songstress Deborah Cox took us down memory lane, while Gospel sensations Hezekiah Walker, Anthony Brown, Jonathan Nelson and Yolanda Adams took us to church.
But some of the best moments on stage were the conversations curated to push our community forward. Meagan Good shared insights on health, love, life and the pursuit of personal happiness.
Dominique Sharpton, Gina Belafonte and other Daughters of the Movement reminded us of our voting power, our history as a people and our fight for justice.
“We need to wrap our minds around the black woman’s voting power. It’s important for us to learn about our history and constantly have conversations about it - as there is great wisdom/jewels to take in.” – Gina Belafonte
Another powerful highlight of the day was the cast of Power taking over the main stage with an entertaining and comedic conversation. Naturi Naughton, Rotimi, Joseph Sikora and Larenz Tate gave us all the tea on the final season of the show, their careers from here and their experience working together to produce an incredible cultural phenomenon.
“Everyone respects each other. It feels like a family as I’ve watched each actor grow and I’m happy to be a part of the Power family.” – Larenz Tate
And if the performances and empowering panels weren’t enough, shopping some of the best brands in hair, body and apparel was every single thing. Some of your favorite brands such as Palmers, Curls, Butter by Keba and Bronner Bros were in the building and didn’t disappoint.
As to be expected, the Circle of Sisters Expo was an incredible experience and left over 30,000 attendees this year already anticipating the 2020 event.