Dear 2015: The Year in Photos

From the Obamas to Beyonce to the Missouri protests, here are the best captured moments of 2015.

Joslyn Winkfield Dec, 03, 2015

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Simone Biles and Gabrielle Douglas were the epitome of strength for Black female athletes this year. The camaraderie in this photo is undeniable. 

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Thousands of Afro-Brazillians in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil joined the march against the prejudice against natural hair experienced in their communities. We love this embrace.

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There were tons of cute Halloween costumes this year, but this photo of Taraji P. Henson was too fierce to not give props to.

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Uzo Aduba sits like a queen with her two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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Loretta Lynch is sworn in as the country's first Black female U.S. Attorney General on April 27.

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Zendaya and her buzz-worthy hair at the 87th annual Academy Awards.

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We've loved watching FLOTUS and POTUS travel the world. This shot of Michelle Obama in Japan is a favorite. 

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Three of the hottest women in the game, making funny faces (and still completely slaying)? Love!

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Beyonce wowed in this barely-there sheer number at this year's Met Gala.

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Rihanna took up the entire red carpet with her stunning yellow ensemble at this year's Met Gala.

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Lupita Nyong'o's bun at the Cannes Film Festival had its own hashtag:  #fronut .

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Stephen Curry brought home the championship for the Golden State Warrios this year, but his daughter Riley continues to steal the show. We just love their cute little family.

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The mass shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church, claiming the lives of its pastor and eight others, hit home for many who think of their churches as safe havens.

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Demonstrators fought hard—and succeeded—in having the Confederate flag removed from the State House in South Carolina.

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The First Family hosts a Girl Scouts Campout in their own backyard as part of the First Lady's Let's Move initiative.

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Missy Elliot had a big year, performing at the Superbowl and releasing the epic comeback single, "WTF." But we freaked out the most when she performed on our own ESSENCE Festival stage.

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To no one's surprise, Serena Williams killed it this year, taking home yet another Wimbledon trophy.

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Obama makes history (again) as the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. Here, he tours the cells of the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma.

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Demonstrators, marking the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, march along West Florrisant Street in a driving rain in Ferguson. 

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Grace Jones made a big splash this year with a wild performamce at the AfroPunk Festival in Brooklyn.

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Nicki turned some major heads on the red carpet of the MTV Video Music Awards, and later onstage when she confronted Miley Cyrus.

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Taraji P. Henson glady presented Regina King with the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie.

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Viola made us all proud with her speech for winning the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama, being the first Black woman to do so.

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The Black Girl Magic continued when Uzo Aduba won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

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It wasn't long after Empire debuted in January that the Lyon family became a permanent fixture in our Wednesday nights.

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The President and First Lady have a lot of moments on our list, and Mrs. O fixing her hubby's tie at this year's State Dinner was adorable.

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Jennifer Hudson wins for best Cinderalla moment on the steps of Lincoln Center outside of the New York City Ballet's Fall Gala.

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Jada Pinkett-Smith absolutely slayed at Paris Fashion Week back in September.

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Participants gather once again at the U.S. Capitol marking the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March of 1995.

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Lisa Bonet and Zoe Kravitz share a sweet mommy-daughter moment as Lisa presents her daughter with the Breakthrough Style Star award onstage during the InStyle Awards.

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Members of the Concerned Student 1950 movement speak to the crowd on the University of Missouri campus. Many applauded the resignation of University of Missouri's President Tim Wolfe amid allegations of racism. 

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Maria Borges couldn't contain her elation at being the first Black model to showcase her natural hair during the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

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A flower is placed inside a bullet hole in the window of Le Carillon restaurant. The hashtag #PrayforParis highlighted the violence of the terrorist shootings on November 15.

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President Obama hugs a 16-year-old refugee girl from Myanmar that was subjected to human trafficking and will now be moving to the United States, following a tour of the Dignity for Children Foundation in Kuala Lumpur.

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Jason Van Dyke plead not guilty to the court in the Laquan McDonald shooting. 

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We've loved watching Sasha and Malia grow into lovely young ladies this year. Their father-daughter moments are the cutest.

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Millions scrambled to get a glimpse of the Pope during his multi-continental visits, including his trip to Kenya.

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The Wiz Live! was an instant hit, paying homage to the play and 1978 film.

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Misty Copeland was promoted to Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theater, making her the first African-American ever to get the role.

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Ten years after enduring the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans is still rebuilding.

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Beyonce and Nicki Minaj reminded everyone during Brooklyn's October Tidal concert that they are still queens (and the ultimate besties).

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South African students continue fighting tirelessly to protest steadily rising college costs.

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Ailey dancers Samuel Lee Roberts and Sarah Daley strike a striking pose in Cape Town, South Africa.

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Politicians and activists gathered in Selma, Ala., on March 7 to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic voting rights march that inspired a movement.

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As the fight for civil rights continued, protestors adopted "die-ins" as a new strategy for ensuring that their voices were heard.

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The state of South Carolina was reeling after storms dumped nearly 6 trillion gallons of rain and left the state virtually underwater.

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After the death of Freddie Gray, overnight demonstrations—and riots—left the city of Baltimore in a state of emergency.

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Ava racked up the honors this year, including this Outstanding Motion Picture Award from the NAACP (and her very own Barbie doll!).

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Oprah Winfrey continues to slay in everything she does. Next up? Her very own memoir.