2017 was quite a year, and for the most part, not for good reasons. Some moments this year have been downright depressing and angering, others have made us lose faith in some people. But for every “not today, satan”, “bitch please” and “girl bye” moment, there was a “yaaaasss” moment, and of course, black women were at the center of that. There’s so much we have to celebrate, and we love the women who inspired, entertained, educated us and reminded us that we have value. So to honor them we put a list together.
This year saw the most jaw-dropping purge of the pervs and the creeps in Hollywood, and #metoo became the mantra and the hashtag of solidarity. The woman behind it, Tarana Burke, created it years ago, but this year’s scandals made it more relevant, and a very powerful statement.
From reality TV to topping the charts and being on the cover of Rolling Stone, Cardi B truly had a great year. She made our year because she’s a reminder that you can become what you want, even when people underestimate you and judge you for your past.
Maxine Waters has been one of the high points of my year. She speaks her mind, stands up for what she believes in, and can out-petty any young lady out there. Her tweets to Trump are jewels, and it feels good knowing we have her riding for the cause the way she does.
Tracee Ellis Ross
When I watched the episode of Black-ish where Rainbow experiences postpartum depression, I cried. I’m not a mother, but I felt the raw emotion she brought to that moment. Tracee gets better and better, and it’s such a pleasure watching her. Let's not forget that she KILLED guest hosting Jimmy Kimmel, and even did a powerful bit about the sexual assault purge.
Keisha Lance Bottoms
When Keisha proudly proclaimed that “black girl magic is real” she took my heart and my edges at the same time. After that horrendous election result last year, we felt hopeless, and yes even though that man is still in the WH, let’s not forget some of the biggest victories we had. This is one of them.
Black Women of Alabama
The black women of Alabama swooped in and snatched Roy Moore out of a Senate seat, in a move that is a high points of 2017. Their action reminded us that our voices, the ones they constantly try to suppress, could actually be the ones to kick a racist, homophobe child molester to the curb.
Nothing is more amazing than seeing a person who’s been on the grind with their craft finally get the recognition they deserve. Tiffany has been through a lot, and she is a powerful force to be reckoned with. We loved her crazy character Deena in Girls Trip, and we were all yaaasssing when she hosted SNL, the first black female comedian to do so.
Queen Sugar is a great show, carried by a cast of spectacular performers, but one character really stood out to me, Charley. Every time Charley Bordelon steps onto my screen, I’m glued to it. She really brought this complex, beautiful and sometimes infuriating woman to life, and I just can’t see anyone else in the role.
By introducing Fenty Beauty to the world, Rihanna challenged the cosmetics industry to rise to her level by providing products for all shades. Now, companies are racing to catch up while Rihanna's empire continues to grow, thrive and appeal to a market that has been ignored for far too long.
If you haven't been tuning in for the White House Press Briefings, you've been missing out. Veteran reporter, April Ryan, regularly spars with the president's press secretary, challenging her on lies coming from the administration, and demanding answers for the American public.
The creator of #OscarsSoWhite wasn't always a household name, but her constant advocacy for people of color in the creative realm has changed the game. A prolific user of Twitter, Reign uses her platform fearlessly. Her voice is so powerful, when HBO greenlit the controversial series, "Confederate," she tirelessly tweeted about #NoConfederate, inspiring a movement which stopped the series before it could get started.
Issa Rae has had quite the year, and people just can't stop talking about her glow up. Insecure has gotten us through a tough year and we are so proud of her. She has used Insecure as a vehicle to deliberately reframe the public perception of black life in Los Angeles, and her representation of black female friendship is just beautiful. We can't wait to see what else she's going to bring to the table!