Here we are again, February 1, 2017, and it’s #BlackHistoryMonth!
The time between now and last February has been one hell of an emotional roller coaster and although we battled with the presidential election, and continue to battle against social injustices facing our people, African Americans continue to relentlessly ascend past the expectations that are deposited on us.
As a race and culture, we are continuing to discover ourselves, who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. Now more than ever African Americans are owning their greatness, being respected, and finally being recognized for it.
In all honesty, Black History Month should be an all-year celebration as our contributions to society are far too great to be marginalized to one month. That being said, we’re here to slay this February and every February moving forward, because the surplus of #BlackExcellence needs to be celebrated.
This #BHM we reflect on how far we have come while not losing sight of how much further we have to go. We are here, we have been here, and we will always be here and we have the receipts to prove it. In the words of Deray Mckesson, I love my blackness and yours, so let’s celebrate by kicking off #BlackHistoryMonth with the 10 Amazing Moments For African American Culture Since Last Year’s #BHM:
1. Beyonce & Superbowl 2016
Beyonce broke hearts and the internet with her “Formation” performance that paid homage to The Black Panthers and African Americans whose lives have been affected by police brutality and social injustices. This was needed. Badly.
2. Opening of the National Museum of African American History & Culture
On September 24th, 2016 The Smithsonian opened up the National Museum of African American History & Culture. President Barack Obama led the ceremony, and black America’s story is being told like never before. Though long overdue, we’re thankful this historical place will be here for centuries to come.
3. The “Simone’s”
Since 2016’s BHM, there were two Simone’s that stole our hearts.
Simone Biles could very well be the best gymnast in the world right now, depending on who you ask. Biles became the 2016 Olympic individual all-around, vault and floor gold medalist and made a name for herself in the world of gymnastics, and for the U.S. olympic team.
Then we have the elegant Simone Manuel, who became the first African-American swimmer to win an individual Olympic gold medal with her record-setting performance at the 2016 Rio Games. Her passion to be the best was felt every step of her journey and we’re thankful to have such a role model displaying #BlackGirlMagic.
4. Chris Rock’s Impeccable Opening Monologue At The Oscars
Chris Rock openly and honestly addressed #OscarsSoWhite and racism in Hollywood in the perfect way possible. Some jokes, some serious takes — Chris showed up and showed out for black folks everywhere.
5. Two Words: Viola. Davis.
Taking her superstar status to a whole new level, Viola Davis had an incredible 365 days. On top of her role in Fences alongside Denzel, Viola became the first African-American to ever win an Emmy Award for Best Drama Actress for “How to Get Away with Murder”. Thank you, Viola. Thank you.
6. The Game-Changing “Hidden Figures” Film
One of the most important movies of the last year will hands down be Hidden Figures. The heartfelt, true story informed us all of an untold story of three African American women who were behind NASA and one of the biggest space missions in history. The film grossed over 100 million at the box office, was nominated for multiple Oscars, has already won a SAG award, and inspired thousands of people all over the world. Especially women…black women.
7. Donald Glover’s Atlanta
Donald Glover’s Atlanta was a big hit in its first season and set records for FX. The cultural show depicts what it means and looks like to grow up in Atlanta, while illustrating the difficulties to succeed especially as a black man. Atlanta has been, and is still getting all of the recognition it deserves, and despite not coming back til 2018, fans are excited for season 2. An important show from an important creative — thanks Donald.
8. Celebrating The End Of An Era: The Obama’s Leave Office
It was the best eight years you could ask for. Short-lived, yes, but cherish-able and unforgettable to say the least. The country saw their first black President ever and saw barriers be broken in more ways than one. Thank you, Barack. And let’s not forget our incredible former First Lady, who gave us doses of #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackExcellence every time she spoke. Thank you, Michelle. These last eight years were memorable to say the least. Sigh.
9. The Knowels Sisters: LEMONADE + A Seat At The Table
Simply put, both of these albums from Beyonce and Solange were unexplainably important to the black culture. Whether it was Beyonce’s “Formation”, or Solange’s “FUBU”, the soul sisters gave us song after song that will impact us for decades to come. They both earned number 1 albums and high accolades to go with it. There’s not enough words to describe the importance of these two bodies of work.
10. Issa Rae & Insecure
From Youtube star to HBO lead. Issa Rae has came a long way and has taken on many forms. Issa Rae took what she has done on Youtube and beautifully turned it into a critically acclaimed and Emmy nominated series that airs on HBO for black girls and women everywhere.