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The holidays are a time to bring the Black Twitter fam together around the social media table. Nothing says Thanksgiving like bonding over our shared #ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies experiences.
2 of 23 Scott Olson/Getty Images
It was all but impossible to avoid the video released last month showing Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke firing 16 shots into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The heartbreaking footage prompted Black Twitter to begin the hashtag #BeforeYouWatch to strengthen and unite individuals before they watched the video.
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Because if it wasn’t for Durag History Week, we wouldn’t know fun facts like the Sphinx was actually the first to rock the trend or that, with the help of his durag, Moses was able to control all types of waves.
4 of 23 Fairfax County Police Department
We know all too well our slain brothers, but what about our fallen sisters? Making sure that names like Natasha McKenna, Sandra Bland and Renisha McBride didn’t get lost in the shadows, Black Twitter launched the hashtag #SayHerName to bring their identities to the forefront of the justice conversations.
5 of 23 Getty Images
Looking for the next e-book to download onto your Kindle? Look no further. #BlkWomenSyllabus encouraged Black bookworms to tweet their must-read books, and book clubs everywhere rejoiced.
6 of 23 Scott Dudelson/Getty Images
Drake gave us that hashtag that we didn’t know we needed after he dropped his beautifully choreographed video for “Hotline Bling.” It didn’t take us long to figure out that—surprise!—his dance moves go with any beat. “7/11”? Drake’s on beat. Marvin Gaye? Drake’s on beat. The Charlie Brown theme song? Drake is still on beat.
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Gather around kids; it’s time for your Black history lesson. Black Twitter had some fun with #CivilRightsTwitter, giving us a glimpse of what life would’ve been like had the Civil Rights Movement merged with the flair (and clap backs) of today. Hilarity ensues.
8 of 23 AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton
The world mourned when 21-year-old Dylann Roof stormed into Emanuel AME Church on June 17 and killed nine African-Americans during bible study. People everywhere took to Twitter to share their palpable heartbreak.
9 of 23 AP Photo/Bruce Smith
Shortly after the Charleston shooting, the Confederate flag debate was reignited, with millions demanding that the South Carolina capital remove the flag from its grounds. Black girl wonder Bree Newsome eventually scaled the pole herself to remove the flag.
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We know them and we love them, but somehow, these celebrities never quite went mainstream. Oh, well; more for us!
11 of 23 Instagram
The hashtag that gave us all serious life goals in 2015. It encouraged women to embrace their Black femininity, cultivate their individuality and channel their inner Solange/Erykah Badu/Janelle Monae. *Praise hands emoji*
12 of 23 Twitter
You know Hollywood has a diversity problem. We know Hollywood has a diversity problem. And now, Hollywood knows that Hollywood has a diversity problem. Twitter immediately noticed that last year’s Oscar nominees had a severe lack of melanin, and they quickly brought it to the Academy’s attention.
13 of 23 Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review via AP
Black Twitter had a field day once they caught wind of the legend of Rachel Dolezal, the “Black” Washington NAACP leader who was outed for being White. The pure absurdity of the front-page story had Black Twitter testing Rachel’s “Blackness” by asking questions like, “What side does the Electric Slide start on?”
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A national spotlight was cast on Spring Valley High School in October after a school resource officer was caught on camera violently throwing a Black 16-year-old girl across a room for failing to put her phone away. The disturbing footage sparked a conversation that eventually resulted in the officer being fired.
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Our shared experiences as Black children makes the world go ‘round, right? The ingenuity that is Black Twitter gave us #GrowingUpBlack, and we got our life for daaays.
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ICYMI, the Supreme Court is currently hearing a case that could potentially crumble affirmative action. University of Texas applicant Abigail Fisher is suing the university, claiming that she was denied entry because of the school’s affirmative action procedures. Cue Black Twitter. Black graduates everywhere began tweeting photos of themselves in their caps and gowns, pointing out both their academic and professional accolades. Slow. Clap.
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In October, we all took an hour out of our busy work days to read the epic tale of Zola, an self-identified stripper who took a whirlwind of an adventure to Florida with a questionable new girlfriend. We laughed, we cried, and we are wondering why it’s taking Hollywood so long to jump on this screenplay.
18 of 23 Facebook.com/Sandra.Bland.5070
Questions still surround the death of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman who was found dead in her jail cell three days after being arrested during a routine traffic stop. The mysterious circumstances of her premature death sparked the hashtag #IfIDieInPoliceCustody, allowing social media users to declare that they would not commit suicide while detained.
19 of 23 Twitter
Not looking forward to dealing with your auntie’s nonsense this Thanksgiving? Twitter has a hashtag for that. #ThanksgivingClapbacks gave us the quips we needed to survive the holiday. Can we get a #ChristmasClapbacks?
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In case you missed out on the magic that is #BlackGirlMagic, the hashtag celebrates all the wonderments of Black women, whether that is our accomplishments, our allure, or our all-around slayage. Misty Copeland, anyone?
21 of 23 Instagram
James Wright shot to international fame after posting a review of Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies where he actually turned into the legend herself. His YouTube video has since garnered more than 4 million views, he has launched multiple partnerships with Patti herself and the rest of us are left scrambling to get our hands on some sold-out #PattiPie.
22 of 23 Allison Long/The Kansas City Star via AP
After University of Mizzou students became frustrated with the administration’s handling of an onslaught of racial incidents, Black grad students created #ConcernedStudent1950, named for the first year the school was integrated. The coalition called for the removal of President Tim Wolfe, and mere weeks after the group’s formation, Wolfe announced his resignation.
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After Michelle Obama teamed up with Jay Pharaoh and College Humor to drop a rap video (ok, it was promoting higher education, but she still dropped a verse), Black Twitter took it upon themselves to launch FLOTUS’ rap career. And we’re totally okay with that.
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