30 Most Inspiring Black Stories of 2016


2016 wasn’t the easiest year for a lot of us. From the passing of icons like Muhammad Ali and Prince, to several incidents of police brutality, there have been many bumps and tragedies along the way.

However, being the optimist that I am, I try my best to focus on the positive. Let’s take a look back at some of the moments that inspired and brought us joy in 2016.

Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards


South Africa’s First Woman-Owned Airline Goes International

Emory University offered students a course called “The Power of Black Self Love

The Blackest Wedding Ever aka #JollofandJambalaya took place in New Orleans.

Appetite For Change released a video of kids rapping about healthy food.

Ana Flávia became the first Black Model to win the Ford Models contest in Brazil.

An 86 year old grandma, Millie Taylor-Morrison weds and proves you can find love at any age.


The British Film Institute produces a Love Letter for Black Female Actors

Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem to protest injustice.

The Fuller Cut barbershop in Michigan gives $2 discounts for kids who read aloud.

12 year old Marley Dias started the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign

The opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

NFL player DeAngelo Williams pays for 53 mammograms.

Junior Olympian Sisters Named Sports Illustrated SportsKids Of The Year

Students at Pretoria High School for Girls in South Africa protested for their right to wear natural hair.

Black Men unified to show love for Leslie Jones with #BlackMenSupportLeslie

Black Olympians dominated Rio 2016

16 year-old Isaiah Cooper became the youngest Black pilot to fly across the U.S.

26-year old Michael Hubbs became Stockton, CA’s youngest and first Black mayor

Animal Planet debuted “The Vet Life”, starring three Black veterinarians.

Ja’Andra Imani bounced back from a 1.4 GPA & failed classes to a full ride offer for Master’s degree.


Bobsled Team


A youth robotics team won the FIRST Robotics World Championship

A 57-Year-Old Grandmother of 12 Earned her Bachelor’s Degree

Viola Desmond, “Canada’a Rosa Parks” will be the first Canadian woman to figure on a $10 bill

Halima Aden, 19, made history as the first  Miss Minnesota USA contestant to compete in a hijab 

Oakland teen, Elexis Webster  went from homelessness to Honor Student with a 4.1 GPA

Former WNBA Player Tamara James was elected Mayor of her Florida Hometown

Maryland Bus Driver, Reneita Smith, saved 20 Students from a Fire

Asante Mahapa became South Africa’s 1st Black Female Pilot

See! It wasn’t that bad after all was it? Here’s to much more inspiring Black news in 2017!


-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson

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