The 10 Blackest Stories We Covered in 2015

IFWT_WhyYouAlwaysLyingBlack people are always on the edge of innovation, and they took 2015 as an opportunity to exhibit as much peak blackness as possible.

From Michelle Obama’s rap video to Bree Newsome removing a confederate flag to The Wiz Live!, we have compiled the top 10 blackest moments of 2015, all captured here at WaterCoolerConvos:

1. President Obama singing “Amazing Grace” for the Emanuel Nine

Ain’t no president like my President, and when he took the stage to sing “Amazing Grace” he was exhibiting his own peak Blackness. Not only was he singing the most classic of classic gospel hymns, but he sang it with soul.

2. Michelle Obama Raps for College

Not to be outdone, the FLOTUS doubled down on Blackness and released a rap video encouraging kids to go to college. And not only did she record this song and tape a video for it, she shot the video all over the White House grounds. #StartedFromTheBottomNowWeHere

3. Janelle Monáe Drops “Hellutalmbout”

Janelle Monáe has been killing the game for years. But in 2015, she diversified by putting on her Wondaland Records crew. They toured the country with secret concerts, and to top it all off, put out the anthem “Hellutalmbout” to protest the loss of black lives. If that title alone ain’t black enough, the song’s content sure is.

4. The Wiz Live! Slays Primetime TV

NBC’s production of The Wiz Live! was a shining example of #BlackExcellence. The cast was stellar, boasting standout performances from a bevy of superstars, and the blackness was just as strong behind the scenes with icons like Fatima Robinson and Harvey Mason Jr. They even had the Emerald City sequence transformed with an infusion of voguing. #Slay

5. #BlackGirlMagic Apple commercial Drops at the Emmys

Black folk must have had a meeting at the beginning of the year and come to a consensus that they were going to come for 2015’s neck. How else do we get an Apple commercial directed by Ava DuVernay and starring Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige, and Kerry Washington that features the trio dancing to a collection of old school jams? As much as I can’t stand Apple, they get a slow clap for this one.

6. “Why You Always Lying?” Becomes Best Meme of the Year

“Meme culture” has come to dominate everything. From “Waiting for you at the door” to “Ain’t nobody got time for that”, we knew how to communicate with images instead of words. But in 2015, a viral Vine video changed the game. Set to the music of Next’s infamous “Too Close”, “Why You Always Lying?”perfectly encapsulated everytime somebody was frontin like the truth wasn’t obvious. The video was hilarious, and just one still from that video gets the message across.

7. Bree Newsome‘s Flagpole Climbing Awesomeness

#BlackLivesMatter was without a doubt the biggest movement of 2015. It had its supporters and detractors, but the efforts of those involved helped to shine a light on the enduring racism blacks face everyday. And Bree Newsome’s scaling of a flag pole to remove the Confederate flag at the South Carolina state capitol was an instant symbol of defiance and protest against the legacy of racism in the U.S.

8. Steph Curry’s Daughter Riley Trolling the Media

Steph Curry may be the NBA’s brightest star right now, but Riley Curry became a star in her own right with her presence at his post-game press conferences. Her performances were unforgettable, from her heavy yawning to an impromptu performance of Big Sean’s “Blessings”, she proved that she is made for the spotlight yet is unbothered by the attention.

9. Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch Internet Takeover

In 2015, Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch made headlines for a plethora of reasons. Sherman was the “thug” with a Harvard degree and Lynch revolutionized not caring about the press. And their legacies have lasted (“I’m just here so I don’t get fined” was easily one of the best additions to black lexicon). But when Key And Peele did a skit portraying the football stars, the results were priceless.

10. Empire Takes Over the World

The biggest TV success story of 2015 would have to be Empire. Debuting January 7, 2015, the show broke records for its successively high and growing ratings over the first season. Backed by music production from none other than Timbaland, the prime time soap opera was high on drama and Cookie Lyon one-liners. And demand was so great, that the show’s second season debuted in Fall, a whiplash inducing turnaround, and the ratings have stayed as strong as ever. But most importantly, another show featuring successful, black characters that don’t shy away from blackness is dominating television.


Photo credit: YouTube/still

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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.