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10 Moments Of Black Excellence That Inspired Us In The Last Year  was originally published on

1. “Hidden Figures” Tops The Box Office

“Hidden Figures” Tops The Box Office

When “Hidden Figures” hit theaters, we knew it would be a success, but we didn’t know just how big the film would be. It was SO big, in fact, that it was number one at the box office for weeks, beating out critical favorites like “La La Land” and big horror blockbusters like “The Bye Bye Man.” Now that is a statistic worth celebrating.

2. Ava Duvernay Makes History

Ava Duvernay Makes History

When Ava Duvernay hit the Hollywood scene with her hit film “Selma,” she was the picture of absolute excellence. But she spent 2016 breaking records and making hits. From her hit show “Queen Sugar” on OWN to her documentary “The 13th,” DuVernay is a force to be reckoned with. Now, she’s also the first Black female director to helm a $100M film budget and to be nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes.

3. Tracee Ellis Ross Wins Big

Tracee Ellis Ross Wins Big

When Tracee Ellis Ross took home her Golden Globe for Best Actress in A Comedy Series, she won more than just a statue. She is also the first black woman to win in the category since Debbie Allen won back in 1983.

4. Viola Sweeps All The Awards

Viola Sweeps All The Awards

Viola Davis also made Hollywood history this year, becoming the first Black woman to score three Oscar nominations for her incredible role in “Fences.” She is also nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the 2017 NAACP Image Awards.

5. Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris

The 2016 Election was a tough one, but one of the shining moments was the win for Kamala Harris to the California Senate, where she made history as the first black senator in the state, the first Indian American senator in the country and only the second black female senator in American history.

6. Solange Gets “A Seat At The Table”

Solange Gets “A Seat At The Table”

When Solange Knowles released new music in the fall of 2016, we were all so pleasantly surprised at how absolutely incredible it was. The album shot to number one and became the soundtrack for people everywhere coping through social injustice. It was proof that the Knowles sisters are an absolute tour de force.

7. Beyonce Gets In “Formation”

Beyonce Gets In “Formation”

2016 was the year that “Lemonade” changed the game. From her politically charged anthem to get in “Formation” to her Super Bowl performance that paid homage to the Black Panthers to her incredible visual album, Beyonce owned the music scene and set the standard for all artists to come.

8. Black Olympic Magic

Black Olympic Magic

In the 2016 Rio Games, Black women absolutely dominated, taking home multiple gold medals in gymnastics, track & field & swimming. Leading the pack was the pint-sized but insanely powerful gymnast Simone Biles, who broke records and somersaulted her way into America’s collective heart.

9. The Women’s March

The Women’s March

One of our favorite moments of absolute girl power came in the form of the Women’s Marches around the world held on January 21. We loved seeing our favorite artists come together with women from all walks of life to call for women’s rights.

10. Social Justice

Social Justice

Black people around the country have been rallying together for the past few years now, but women have been doing incredible work. From the founders of Black Lives Matter to activists like Bree Newsome and Sharon Cooper, we’ve been consistently impressed with the voices of Black women demanding justice for our people.