Well, Keke Palmer just nailed her hosting duties at the MTV Video Music Awards, didn’t she?
Not only is she the first Black woman to host the show since 1987 when “Downtown” Julie Brown co-hosted the event but she’s also the first woman of colour to EVER host the show solo.
The actress, singer and dancer opened with a joke about being chosen for the role: “This is incredible. I can’t believe MTV asked me to host. I don’t know if I was their first choice or the only one brave enough to do it during COVID. Either way, I got the job!”
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And she continued to be her hilarious, charismatic self throughout the evening but also used her moment to shine the spotlight on the urgent need for unity and racial equality:
“We’ve seen heroes going above and beyond, whether they drive a delivery truck, work at a grocery store or serve on the front lines in a hospital. And with the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ve seen our generation step up, take to the streets and make sure our voices will be heard. Enough is enough!”
Keke also made reference to the recent police shooting of Jacob Blake, describing it as “yet another devastating reminder that we can’t stop. That we can never tolerate police brutality. Or any injustice. We must continue the fight to end systemic racism.”
She urged viewers to “be the change we want to see” before describing how music has the power to unite.
“Music has that power. Music can help us heal. It’s all love and that’s what tonight is about.”
Earlier during the virtual event, Keke paid tribute to the late and great Chadwick Boseman who passed away from colon cancer last week, describing him as “an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered.”
She dedicated the awards show to him too: “He is a true hero. Not just onscreen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever.”
Watch her full, powerful speech below: