From Sandra Bland to the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, African Americans were sadly reminded that being Black in America is much harder than it ought to be. And yet in the same breath, 2015 was a year of Black joy during which our culture dominated not only in our lives, but in the mainstream consciousness. From Cookie Lyons to the Cosby Ebony cover, our brilliance helped to push the conversation, affirm our greatness, make history and most important, make us laugh.
So to celebrate that greatness, we put together this list of the most defining Black pop culture moments of 2015. And don’t worry: Rachel Dolezal is nowhere to be seen.