2015 has been full of shade, Drake, and one too many occurrences of Mercury in retrograde. As 2016 peaks over the horizon, let’s take a look at the top moments that made this year one for the books.
22. DJ Khaled’s Snapchat-spiration
Who would’ve thought that DJ Khaled would be the silver lining to the evasive purpose of Snapchat? If you’ve made it this far because DJ Khaled believed in you, you really are the best.
21. Drake’s Beard
No glow up has ever been as impressive as that of Aubrey Graham. We salute you.
20. Creflo Dollar’s $65 million jet
If there were awards for people who tried it, Pastor Creflo Dollar would have won it this year, hands down.
19. Let me Damonsplain…
We took many steps toward diverse representation this year, but then there was this guy.
18. The returns of 2015
17. Mike Epps’ wife has the last laugh
16. This Kiss of Death
15. Urban non-fiction storytellers
https://youtu.be/L5x6PXdh4kc Many great storytellers go by one name: Sophocles, Homer, Cervantes…and this year we add Zola and Supa to the list because who else held our attention with such suspense, such drama, such millennial marvel. Can we get these ladies a publishing deal?
14. Uncle Denzel
The memes were on heavy rotation this year, but the one with the most shock value was our beloved Denzel Washington looking like a pack of Newports and inappropriate advances at the family function. The good news is that it made room for his son to thirst trap for this generation. Hey, John David!
— #9 🇬🇭 (@_nate9) May 26, 2015
If we learned anything this year it’s that Beyonce’s choreographers are the sorcerers of synchronicity. I mean was there any song that Queen Bey didn’t match step for step? And she’s still going.
12. Frank, where is the album?
The moment was July 31st when we all collectively let out the breath we’d been holding all month for the follow-up album from Frank Ocean. We understand that art takes time, but whoever spread the word that an album was coming is the biggest troll known to mankind.
11. White feminism, what’s good?!
It wasn’t the most shining year for feminists lacking the nuances of intersectionality and just common decency, but there was enough shade for that throughout the year. From Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech to Nancy Lee Grahn saying Viola Davis shouldn’t have made Emmy acceptance speech about race, Nicki Minaj summed it up best when she posed this pivotal inquiry to Miley Cyrus, “What’s good?” To be honest, I felt the spirit of Sojourner Truth in that moment.
10. The Blackout
Black was, is, and will always be beautiful. And on March 6th we set a precedent on social media with how diverse and radiant we all are.
9. Je suis Black Twitter
— • (@cattvision) October 15, 2015
8. Riley Curry
Way up, we feel blessed that this toddler graced us with her joy and humor during her dad’s press conferences.
7. Dance soiree vs. dancery?
And the jury is still out.
6. The New Black Movement
From continental Raven-Symoné to controversial Rachel Dolezal, the “New Black” crew had one helluva year in publicity. If Stacey Dash, the Prius Prince Isaiah Washington, Charles Barkley and Stephen A. Smith can survive the shade thrown their way this year, they can survive anything.
5. The beefs of 2015
Michael Eric Dyson vs. Cornel West, Cheryl Lynn vs. Anita Baker, Drake vs. Meek, Iggy Azalea vs. Articulation… this year saw the art of debate take many forms. Whether the academic arguments of Dyson and West, the auntie beef that kept us all up at night checking catalogues, or Norm Kelly’s consistent TKO on Meek Mill‘s career, great battles were waged this year. But we have to admit Philadelphia took the biggest L (looking at you Meek & Bill).
4. DeRay McKesson
Although he received criticisms from all sides, McKesson held his own all year and stood his ground. The constant reminders of loving our blackness and reiterating Toni Morrison’s beloved words that we are our best thing, he offered hope in a sea of injustice and disillusionment. Not to mention he got a follow from Beyoncé, so there’s that.
3. Second-term Obama
From singing “Amazing Grace,” to saying folks want to “pop off,” President Obama reached peak blackness in his second term. He joined Twitter with a bang and clapped back at his haters, visited Jamaica and also Federal inmates (the first of any sitting President). If only we could just get a third term.
2. Social Justice Warriors #BlackLivesMatter
Although Starbucks tried to solve our racial issues through conversations over coffee, people took to the streets to make it known that what’s been happening in Ferguson, Baltimore, McKinney, and dozens of other cities to remind America that we still matter and always will.
1. Black Women
Toni Morrison once said that, “It’s important to know…the very serious function of racism, which is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over your reason for being.” Serena Williams. Viola Davis. Ava Duvernay. Marilyn Mosby. Zendaya. Amandla Stenberg. Issa Rae. Misty Copeland. Loretta Lynch. Bree Newsome. Shonda Rhimes. Taraji P. Henson…and all the black women who embodied the essence of “I’ll do it myself” whether in film/tv, social justice, music, sports, in the community, or at home…thank you for doing the work.