As a collective, Black women have been accomplishing and achieving so much this year. I am pleased with the accomplishments Black women achieved this year. Thus my whole post will be dedicated to what Black women have accomplished in the past year.
On the entertainment level, Black actresses are becoming more prominent in TV shows and movies. Actresses such as Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Lupita N’Yong etc are making strides and doing well in their respective fields. More than ever before, little Black girls can see images of women who look like them on magazines, TV, commercials etc. Nonetheless, Black actresses are less likely to be casted for A list roles than their Caucasian counterparts and make up only 14% of actresses in Hollywood. Thus the significance of actress, Viola Davis’ win at the Emmy’s in September 2015.
On September 13th, actress, Viola Davis won an Emmy Award for Best Actress in a leading drama for her role in the TV show, How To Get Award with Murder. Her win was very groundbreaking and phenomenal because of the fact that she was the first Black woman to win an award for that category. Her win was talked about and celebrated by many people. And I was ecstatic and happy for her. #BlackGirlPower#
On the sports level, Serena Williams dominated tennis. Serena Williams won three of the four majors and ended the season with 53-3. She was named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year on December 15th. Serena Williams was the first African American woman to win the award. Here is her acceptance speech:
“For all the ladies out there, yes we can do it,” she said. “My hope by winning this award [is that I] can inspire many, many, many more women … to stand right here on this podium and accept another ‘Sportsperson of the Year,’ so yes ladies it can be done.”
Regardless of ignorant people calling her ”masculine” and ”built like a man”, Serena Williams continues to achieve her goals and be the best tennis player she can be. Her presence in the tennis world will pave the way for women particularly African American women to enter the field of tennis and make strides. Her courage, strength and perseverance helped her overcome any odds that would have kept her back from becoming the tennis player she wanted to be. Thus Serena Williams has become an outstanding and accomplished tennis player and will continue to be inspirational to many women especially African American women out there.
Here is a picture of Serena Williams’ 2015 Sports Illustrated Magazine cover
On the economic front, Black women still face the struggles of the recovering economy and lackluster job market. As the employment rates dropped in the midst of economic recovery, Black women’s unemployment rates remained stagnant. The unemployment rates for Black women remained at 10.6% despite the fact that their employment decreased from 7.1% to 6.2% between 2013 to 2014. The reason for the stagnant unemployment rates is due to the fact that most Black women choose jobs in the public sector instead of the private sector. The public sector’s job growth is much slower than in the private sector due to government freezing or cutting funds in the public sector. However, Black women still continue to make strides. African American women were starting and owning their own businesses at the rate of 322%. These businesses has added 340,000 jobs to the economy and employed thousands of people. Thus African American women are the fastest and largest number of growing entrepreneurs in the country.
On the political front, Loretta Lynch made history as the first African American woman to be appointed attorney general on April 23rd, 2015. Her, being sworn in, is significant to the course of politics because the presence of a Black woman in such a high position in society. There aren’t many Black women in such positions of power, prestige and roles in the government. As much as I was pleased with Loretta Lynch being sworn in as an attorney general, will she help prosecute police officers who mishandle their power and others who intentionally harm Black girl and women and bring justice to these victims?
On the social front, more African American women are speaking out against the evils and injustices implemented against Black people in society. Many African American women participate in social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter, spoke out against racism, sexism and misogyny on social media and sometimes even risked their lives for others. However, I will give the nod to Hunger Games, actress, Amandla Stenberg because of her courage and bravery in the face of public scrutiny over her stance against cultural appropriation of African American culture.
Since her time in the spotlight, Amandla Stenberg has faced racism and disrespect from many people in the media. During the success of the 2012 film, Hunger Games, she and other Black actors were targets of racism from moviegoers who went to see the film. Since then, Amandla Stenberg has spoken out against racial issues and cultural appropriation. She even made a video about cultural appropriation and how it affects Black music and culture.
Here is her video on here.
Amandla Stenberg found herself facing controversy when she called out socialite and reality TV star, Kylie Jenner on Twitter for appropriating Black culture after Kylie Jenner posted a picture wearing braids. Stenberg’s reasoning was that if Kylie was so interested in taking aspects of the Black culture, why wasn’t she interested in speaking out on issues that affected Black people? Kylie Jenner recanted in a tweet and told her to, ”go hang out with Jayden somewhere”. News of this whole debacle spread across social media and television. Many people felt that Amandla Stenberg was making a big deal over nothing and defended Kylie Jenner. A talk show host, Andy Cohen called her a jackhole on his show and he was forced to apologize for his remarks. Regardless, Amandla Stenberg continues to be a strong, outspoken and eloquent young woman and she will be an important part of shaping society’s views on race, class, gender in the future. Hence the reason why she was voted Feminist of the Year along with Girls Meets World star, Rowan Blanchard.
Most of all, Black women’s achievements and accomplishments are an important part of our society. Without them, society wouldn’t the same. Hence the importance their achievements and accomplishments are and will be discussed generations from now.
Sources from where I get my information from: