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Top Social Media Moments For Black America In 2021

Photo: Getty Images

There are a number of ways to relive the year. If we were to relive the year in music, we could run through the top songs, albums, etc. To relive the year in sports, the ESPYs provide a proper recap of the year. Meanwhile, the Emmys and Academy Awards attempt to do the same across film and television. The list goes on. However, few things pull together the year in sports, politics, music, film and television quite like social media. Whether its creating the meme that captures the essence of the 2021 NBA Finals or documenting the inauguration, social media works as a yearbook at times. Here is all that went down on social media within the last year.

Amanda Gorman Takes Over The Inauguration

In the wake of the Capitol Hill riots on January 6, the nation was looking for someone or something that would restore a bit of hope. Fortunately, there was a young poet waiting patiently to provide a few words that would instill optimism within millions of Americans. At 22 years old, Amanda Gorman became the youngest poet to ever perform at the Inauguration. Making the moment even more special, she performed in front of former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Barack Obama and the first Black Vice President, Kamala Harris. In just a matter of minutes, Gorman used her literal gifts to deliver a gripping message with such ambition and conviction that it was impossible to ignore her brilliance. Her performance in the nation’s capital earned her a spot at the Super Bowl and allowed her to become a part of IMG Models. Not to mention, she released a new poetry collection later in the year.

Tessica Brown Gets Gorilla Glue Stuck In Her Hair

Social media has a way of making everyday people into stars in a way that is truly remarkable. Over the years, the world has witnessed the rise of Demetrius Harmon, Issa Rae, Desus Nice, The Kid Mero and several others through platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. With that said, Tessica Brown’s ability to rise through the timeline is still quite bizarre. In the midst of the pandemic, Brown ran into her own unrelated medical emergency. Due to a bit of poor advice and poor judgment, Brown elected to pull Gorilla Glue in her hair. Weeks later, it became clear that hair was immobile and her scalp was not in great shape. Unsure of what to do, she posted a video on TikTok and the rest is history. Brown’s video made its way from TikTok to Twitter and beyond. Thankfully, she was able to get the medical attention she desperately needed.

Oprah, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry & The Royal Family

The first weekend of March was an interesting one. Despite advice from public health officials, a number of fans and spectators made their way down to Atlanta, Georgia for the NBA’s annual all-star festivities. Elsewhere, Eddie Murphy delivered the highly-anticipated sequel to this classic film, Coming To America. Also, President Joe Biden reportedly signed off on another round of stimulus checks. While all of those events were important, none of them gained the social traction that Meghan Markle‘s sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey did. Alongside her husband, Harry, Markle spoke openly about the discrimination she has faced from the Royal Family during her marriage. Throughout the entire television event, Winfrey conducted the interview like a conductor leading a symphony. From her facial expressions to her questions, she made it all worthwhile.

The World Remembers DMX

In a nation that is divided along numerous sociopolitical lines, there are few people that universally receive admiration from just about all of society. DMX was one of those people. Through his musical talent, honesty and ability to light up a room, the New York native connected with thousands of fans worldwide for more than 20 years. After years of battling addiction and other challenges, DMX passed away at the age of 50. While his sudden death was tragic, the world came together to remember the good times and laughs that he provided. Over the course of a week, fans found videos of him dancing at a wedding, comforting his daughter on a rollercoaster ride and performing at Woodstock. DMX was lost far too soon, but he sure did live a fruitful and eventful life.

Reacting To The Conviction Of Derek Chauvin

The year of 2020 was bookmarked by a series of unprecedented protest movements following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor and countless others. In particular, one tragic death caught the attention of America in a way that no other police shooting has ever done. For nearly nine minutes, a police officer by the name of Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of George Floyd as Darnella Frazier filmed the harrowing ordeal. Nearly a year after the video made its way from social media to every television screen in the country, Chauvin was found guilty of murdering the unarmed Minneapolis resident.

Chadwick Boseman Denied At The Oscars

As the world dealt with a pandemic, uncertain political future and social justice protest movement, another tragedy hit. An American hero and Marvel superhero by the name of Chadwick Boseman passed away at 43 years old. Months after his sudden passing, the last film Boseman starred in, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, debuted on Netflix. Receiving rave reviews and critical acclaim, several critics believed Boseman and Viola Davis were locks to be nominated in major Academy Award categories. As time went on, Boseman seemingly floated to the front of the pack in the “Best Actor” race. Unfortunately, predictions from critics don’t always reflect reality. Closing out the 2021 Academy Awards, veteran actor Anthony Hopkins was presented with the “Best Actor” award, leaving many of Boseman’s fans wondering why he didn’t receive the award.

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