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Inauguration 2017

At ‘Peace Ball’ Celebrities Offer Vows of Hope and Resistance

Image: Busboys and Poets' Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Singer Solange Knowles performs onstage at the Busboys and Poets' Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance at National Museum Of African American History & Culture on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mike Coppola / Getty Images

A diverse gathering of glitterati converged on the eve of President Donald Trump's inauguration to drink in the accomplishments of the past eight years under the nation's first black president, pledge to oppose inequity and offer support in the times to come.

The "Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance" hosted by Busboys and Poets at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. on Thursday night was equal parts rally and therapy session. Solange Knowles crooned " A Seat at the Table". Writers Sonia Sanchez and Alice Walker and actresses Ellen Page and Fran Drescher joined thousands of other attendees.

Image: Busboys and Poets' Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: A view of the projections at the Busboys and Poets' Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance at National Museum Of African American History & Culture on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Activist Angela Davis summed up the sentiments in the room.

"In our resistance, we need art. We need music. We need poetry," Davis said.

The mood among many African Americans going into Friday was one of apprehension, Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of African and African-American studies at Duke University told NBC BLK in an interview.

Image: 2017 Inaugural Peace Ball Held At The National Museum of African American History and Culture
Special guests pose for pictures on the red carpet at the inaugural Peace Ball presented by Busboys and Poets at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Peace Ball is a non-partisan inaugural gala held to celebrate the accomplishments of peace and justice activists in the U.S. and around the world. Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20. Scott Olson / Getty Images

"It's complex, there is fear among young people because for some for them President Obama is the only president they've known. Older African Americans have a feeling of disappointment and frustrations because they've live through the bush and Reagan years," he said.

Award-winning actor, director and activist Danny Glover said those sentiments can serve as a catalyst to action.

"Black lives matter is going to be in danger. Immigrants are going to be in danger. People are going to be in danger. We have to protect those people and look out for those people," Glover told NBC BLK. "We have to keep building and keep moving. We have to raise and support and be the foundation of a new generation of leadership that's coming up a lot of people at this particular moment right here. New leadership is coming. No leaders can back down. We just have to get strong that's all it is."

Image: Busboys and Poets' Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Actor Danny Glover speaks onstage at the Busboys and Poets' Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance at National Museum Of African American History & Culture on January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mike Coppola / Getty Images