There’s no denying how huge Black History Month was this year. In fact, the cosmos even treated us to the gift of a leap year, giving us one more day for celebration.
While looking back on February, there were moments that shifted the conversation surrounding Black Pride among Hollywood, politics, and television. From Beyonce’s Black Panther-themed performance at the Super Bowl, to the Twitter trending #ObamaAndKids, to young Black girls forging their own creative lane in literature, the revolution was too big to ignore.
Take a look at some of the moments that proved Black Power can never be silenced.
Beyonce Gets Everyone In “Formation”
While football enthusiasts enjoyed the 50th Super Bowl, music fans were vying for another performance from Beyonce Knowles-Carter. Just 24 hours before her show-stopping appearance with Bruno Mars and Coldplay, the singer released the dynamic “Formation.” The surprise single also came with a powerful video that took on police brutality, Hurricane Katrina, and Black Pride. After performing the single for over 110 million people, Beyonce faced backlash for her politically-charged imagery and costumes. As we know, the Beyhive and even non-fans came to Beyonce’s defense when critics deemed her Super Bowl performance racist.
Kendrick Lamar Owns The Grammys With Inspiring Performance
Just a week later, Kendrick Lamar took his own stand against institutionalization and police brutality with his powerful performance of “The Blacker The Berry” and “Alright” at the 58th Grammys. The rapper took home a well-deserved four Grammys for his critically acclaimed album, To Pimp A Butterfly. In 2015, “Alright” was declared a protest anthem at the height of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The artist’s decision to push the envelope definitely awakened new conversations about social justice.
Plus, the Michael Jackson tributes tucked into Bey and K.Dot’s performances were also a classic touch.
#ObamaAndKids Brightens The World
The trending topic known as #ObamaAndKids came to fruition last Saturday, when Michael Skolnik, activist and entrepreneur, posted a classic photo of Obama and a child, reminding the world of the impact the nation’s first Black president has on today’s youth. After visiting The White House for a special celebration of Black History Month, he witnessed White House photographer Pete Souza snap the photo above of the president meeting a wide-eyed toddler.
Supporters then shared hundreds of photos of Obama with kids:
The “You Know It’s Black History Month When…” Moment
During another event at the White House for Black History Month, a familiar voice (Traci Braxton) shared her love for the First Lady with the compliment, “Haay Michelle!” The president took the playful moment in stride, joking, ““We know it is Black History Month when you hear somebody say, ‘Haay, Michelle! Girl, you look so good!’”
Well, she does look good.
Classic company American Girl launched their third African-American doll this month named Melody Ellison. Melody comes from Detroit circa the 1960s and has dreams of becoming a singer. But the new doll wasn’t the only #BlackGirlMagic moment of the month…
New York native Anaya Lee Willabus became the youngest published author in U.S. history with her chapter-book The Day Mohan Found His Confidence. The nine-year-old said her love of books started at the age of 2.
Marley Dias, 11, also shared her love of reading with the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign. The challenge was meant to collect 1,000 books with Black female lead characters. Her reason for the book drive? Dias was tired of reading books about young White males and dogs. The collection will be donated to schools in Jamaica.
Stars Bring Awareness To NAACP Awards
Following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, actors of color became even more vocal about their political and social beliefs. Earlier this month at the NAACP Image Awards, Quantico actress Aunjanue Ellis wore a dress reading, “Take it Down Mississippi,” a motion for the state to remove the Confederate symbol from their flag.
NewsOne Presents “Bridging The Gap”
The fight for equality has been a long battle. NewsOne opened up the conversation between the warriors of the past and present with our video series Bridging the Gap. Black liberation leaders spoke with activists from Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement about music, justice, LGBT issues, and most of all, their determination to continue that fight for future generations.
“Black-ish” Takes On Police Brutality
The stars of ABC comedy black-ish delivered powerful commentary last week on police brutality. The episode took on various perspectives of racism, protesting and civil rights, helping craft a balanced approach to the nation’s most sensitive subject. The show’s creator, Kenya Barris, explained:
“Well, my hopes are that it starts a great conversation and, at the same time, makes people laugh and think. My fear is: I don’t what to piss anyone off. I don’t want to politicize the show. I don’t want people to feel like it’s not funny enough. I don’t want people to feel like it’s too heavy to be a comedy.”
The Obamas Share One Unforgettable Dance
Virginia McLaurin, a 106-year-old White House guest, won over the Obamas with her quick dance moves. “Slow down now, don’t go too quick!,” Obama joked during their meeting. McLaurin was invited to the White House after making a video explaining her dream to meet the first Black president. Their dancing and touching jokes reached over 11 million people on Facebook.
Chris Rock Makes Hollywood Cringe With Oscars Monologue
Comedian Chris Rock used his hosting duties at the Oscars Sunday night to address police brutality and Hollywood’s problem with diversity. His opening monologue included highlights about slavery, noting Black people didn’t have time to worry about Hollywood accolades due to more important past injustices like segregation and lynching. “We had real things to protest; you know, we’re too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won best cinematographer,” Rock quipped.
There were also amazing skits featuring Black people inserted in the nominated films, and a hilarious bit featuring Angela Bassett called “Black History Month Minute” that paid tribute to everyone’s favorite Black actor, Jack Black.
Feeling proud yet?
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Giphy | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube