From the students at the University of Missouri to the black women at the Emmys, these people were at the top of their game.
In 2015, black Twitter continued to slay with brilliance like #AskRachel and#ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies, President Obama ran out of damns and started checking folks who “wanna pop off,” and Black Lives Matter cemented itself as an enduring force with which to be reckoned. Indeed, 2015 has been punctuated with black people being bold, brave and brilliant at almost every turn.
Here are 2015’s biggest winners.
After a series of racially charged incidents around the University of Missouri campus were met with an insufficient response from the school’s administration and university-system President Tim Wolfe, a group of students called Concerned Student 1950 coordinated activities such as boycotts and walkouts to push for their demands, including that Wolfe resign, to be heard. Jonathan Butler, a graduate student, even instituted a personal hunger strike. When, however, the school’s black football players, who were supported by their coaches and teammates, announced that they were going on strike until Wolfe resigned, he resigned less than 72 hours later. Not only did this situation give birth to similar protests at campuses from Yale in New Haven, Conn., to Claremont McKenna College in California, but it also reminded the nation about the extraordinary amount of power that black athletes can wield to bring about social justice.