Maxine Waters (Jason Kempin/Getty Images); Issa Rae (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for BET)

Melanin was poppin’ during Tuesday night’s airing of Black Girls Rock! on BET. U.S Rep. Auntie Maxine Waters, Issa Rae, Solange Knowles and Yara Shahidi were among the women celebrated for their achievements at the annual award show created by Beverly Bond.

Waters, being the showstopper that she is, delivered a standing-ovation-causing speech after she declared herself a strong black woman.

“I want you to know, if it was not for the love and respect shown to me by black women, those right-wing ultraconservatives ... they would have me believe I’m too black, I’m too confrontational, I’m too tough and I’m too disrespectful of them,” she told the audience. “But now I know I’m simply a strong,black woman.”

Performances for the evening included Anthony Hamilton, SZA, Ledisi and Tasha Cobb, with India.Arie and Tyrese (who invited this dude?) performing the Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack duet “Where Is the Love” in honor of Flack.

Aside from celebrities being honored, activism and STEM also took center stage, with activists Derrica Wilson and Natalie Wilson of the Black & Missing Foundation being honored, along with Njema Frazier, a physicist who empowers black girls to overcome any obstacle and provides opportunities for them to explore the world of science, technology, engineering and math.

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Solange succinctly summed up Black Girls Rock! in her acceptance speech when she said, “Black women make me feel invincible.”

Head over to BET to catch highlights from the show.