Presents aren’t the only things we’ll be wrapping up this month. As the holiday season winds down, we find ourselves closer to polishing off another calendar year.
It’s time to bid farewell to 2015 and while it may have been tumultuous, one thing is for sure: this was an EPIC year for Black women. From the Primetime Emmy Awards to the NBA Finals, there was no shortage of moments that left us screaming, “YAASSSS!” In honor of what has been a the year brimming with #blackgirlmagic, here are 17 times Black women slayed 2015.
THE COOKIE MONSTER
And no we’re not talking about Sesame Street either! In fact, Taraji P. Henson may have eclipsed the infamous blue muppet with her fiery portrayal of ex-convict turned mogul Cookie Lyon on FOX’s hit series Empire. Each week, Cookie faithfully served a fierce fashion game (and some even fiercer one-liners) earning her the title of Time Magazine’s most influential fictional character of 2015.
“DON’T CASH CROP MY CORNROWS”
Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg schooled us on cultural appropriation in a now viral video initially intended as a class project. At a time where Black culture drives popular trends yet, African-Americans still find themselves victims of racially motivated violence, Amandla asks the poignant question, “What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?” Check out the full video here.
THE QUEENS COLLAB
Nicki Minaj and Beyonce were the epitome of squad goals in the visuals for their latest musical collaboration “ Feeling Myself.” The queen of rap teamed up with Queen Bey for a surprise Tidal release that was nothing short of flawless.
TWO WORDS: RILEY CURRY
Riley Curry stole our hearts AND stole the show from her father, Warriors MVP Stephen Curry, during this year’s NBA Finals. The then 2-year-old made a few cameos at Curry’s post-game press conferences with some hilarious, yet totally adorable, antics. From playing peek-a-boo through a tablecloth to singing into her dad’s microphone, Riley Curry was the real MVP.
AN UNLIKELY BALLERINA
Once alienated in the dance industry for having “the wrong body,” Ballerina Misty Copeland danced her way to the top in 2015, joining the American Ballet Theater as the first African-American principal dancer – EVER.
THE CHAMP IS (STILL) HERE
This summer, Serena Williams proved she can still roll with the big dogs. 16 years after her 1999 debut, the 33-year-old beauty won her 6th Wimbledon championship and her 21st grand slam – the second most of all time in professional tennis since 1968. We also got to witness firsthand the depths of her bond with her sister, Venus Williams, whom she battled on the court and uplifted off the court.
VIOLA DAVIS FOR THE WIN!
A thick cloud of Black girl magic gathered over the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards with this year’s ceremony celebrating the most black women winners in 24 years. But perhaps the biggest winner of the night was Viola Davis, whose victory made her the first black woman to receive the Outstanding Lead Actress award in a drama series.
LORETTA LYNCH MAKES HISTORY
In another first, Loretta Lynch became the first African-American woman to hold the position of Attorney General to the United States this April succeeding Eric Holder after his resignation earlier in the year.
BREE NEWSOME VS. THE CONFEDERACY
With the country overwhelmed with racialized violence and Southern states stubbornly holding on to their right to wave the Confederate Flag, activist Bree Newsome took matters into her own hands, scaling a flagpole at the South Carolina state capitol and removing the Civil War momento in a powerful act of resistance.
AVA & APPLE
Selma director Ava DuVernay partnered with Apple Music to direct an epic commercial turned jam session featuring Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, and Mary J. Blige that we wish we could’ve joined.
THE SEPTEMBER ISSUES
From Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to the bible-sized magazines hitting newsstands, it’s no secret that September is a big month for the style world. This year, black women graced the cover of eight September issues including Vogue and New York Magazine during the industry’s most important month of publishing.
THE MIDAS TOUCH
Everything Simone Biles touched seemed to turn to gold this year with the 18-year-old gymnast earning her 10th gold medal at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship where she set a record high.
THE OPRAH EFFECT
Oprah Winfrey worked her magic on Weight Watchers stock in 2015 when the mogul bought a 10 percent stake in the company. O’s timely investment not only doubled the value of the weight-loss powerhouse, but also earned her an impressive $70 million a day.
Black girl magic went global this November as thousands of Afro-Brazilian women gathered to celebrate their kinks, curls, and camaraderie at the first natural hair empowerment march in Salvador da Bahia.
Black Barbies GALORE!
While Mattel’s’ 2009 Black Barbie revamp received mixed reviews, in 2015 the toy manufacturer sought to redeem itself with not one, but two additions to its black Barbie collection that scream black girl magic. The new dolls (dreadlocks included) mirror the likeness of Disney star Zendaya and, most recently, famed director Ava DuVernay, whose miniature sold out in minutes.
THE OBAMA WOMEN
From Michelle Obama’s endless flow of Black Girl Magic, which ranged from major events including her fight for more girls to attend schools worldwide to her seriously enviable closet, to Malia’s college search to the girls growing into beautiful young women, the Obama women are leaving the White House (tears!) with a bang!
MARILYN ‘IT’S HANDLED’ MOSBY
Out of one of the most brutal police brutality stories of 2015 with the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of reckless police officers, came the rise of one extremely incredible Black women. Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s State Attorney, stepped into the case and seemed to get the investigation moving in a pace that we typically don’t see in police brutality against Black people.
Did we miss something? Share your favorite #BlackGirlMagic Moments of 2015 in the comments below.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Instagram
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