The BET Awards made a powerful and profoundly memorable statement with this year's tribute to those we've lost.
This year, the BET Awards made a powerful statement with their surprising and emotionally resonant "In Memoriam" segment.
After a brief introduction from host Taraji P. Henson, the award show's traditional tribute to those we've lost in the past year took a political stance immediately, with the first name in the montage being "Roe v. Wade."
The moving tribute came following numerous politically charged acceptance speeches and statements decrying the controversial and divisive recent supreme court decisions, which have sparked protests across the country.
The "In Memoriam" then proceeded as most traditionally do -- with a video featuring the names and faces of celebs who've died over the past yet, se to touching gospel tunes.
The tribute honored late fashion icons including Andre Leon Talley and Virgil Abloh, music stars including Traci Braxton, Biz Markie, as well as TV personalities and actors, such as Michael K. Williams, Cheslie Kryst and Sidney Poitier.
Then, in an intentionally jarring and shocking moment, the tribute was cut short by an echoing gunshot, before hundreds of names began appearing on the screens, obscuring them with the sheer number.
Another gun shot rang out as the screens read, "In memory of all lives lost due to gun violence." It was a potent and powerful message that gave the segment a greater profundity than typical memorial montages.