A YEAR IN REVIEW: WHAT 2016 BROUGHT US

 

2016 is practically over. It’s been a weird year, to say the least. Personally, it’s been a year of extreme highs and lows. We lost some of our most revered stars this year, the likes of Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, the loved Latin King Juan Gabriel and most recently Star Wars actress, Carrie Fisher. Many grieved as Donald Trump won the vote for America’s presidency. Activists peacefully protested their right to clean drinking water by protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, which resulted in the pipeline being rerouted.

On the flip side, 2016 was a year that gave us remarkable art--especially in music and film. Below we’ve touched on some of the best and worst moments from this year. Share with us moments that were especially memorable for you all.

Film and Television

"White Girl"

Don’t let the name throw you off. The film’s synopsis reads: “The story of a New York college freshman who hooks up with a Puerto Rican drug dealer, sees him arrested before her very eyes and then proceeds to sell his monster stash of coke.”

See Variety’s review. 

"Celia" on Netflix

One of my favorite things on this planet is to get lost in a good film. Next to music and books, film, rather good storytelling, continues to be a passion of mine. Now, if you’re not used to telenovela style storytelling then you’ll be caught off guard by the theatrics and overacting, but I promise it’s definitely worth your time especially if you are a fan of Cuban singing sensation, Celia Cruz. The 80 episode series, is all too much to watch in one sitting, so I recommend watching over the course of several weekends, if time permits. And while you watch, it doesn’t hurt to reminisce or watch for the first time, some of Celia videos. I’ve been especially obsessed with "La Negra Tiene Tumbao."

Watch the first episode of Celia

"Viva"

Viva is a beautiful narrative taking place in Cuba about a young hairdresser named Jesus who dreams of being a famous drag performer in Havana.  When his estranged father returns, Jesus's world is quickly turned upside down due to his father's expectations of Jesus's masculinity.  It's a story of men who struggle to understand each other.  It's in Spanish but if you don't speak it just read the subtitles.  

See Variety's Review.

"Insecure"

Issa Rae’s ascension from YouTube content creator to Hollywood superstar. Her comedy “Insecure’ has helped paved Rae as one of Hollywood’s most versatile and talented young stars. Read about Rae’s rise here.

"Moonlight"

Our writer Devyn Springer wrote a beautiful review of the film. Read the powerful review here.

"Hidden Figures"

Our team had the chance to catch an early screening of the film. Read here.

Music

2016 gave us lots of great music. With albums from A Tribe Called Quest, Frank Ocean, Childish Gabino, A Tribe Called Red and so many more. Then there were a host of irrestible tracks, a few of which we've posted below Check out a few of our favorite videos by artists that dropped some gems this year.

 The Dakota Access Pipeline. The DAPL

One of our writers beautifully wrote about the ways in which white people, in particular, have failed our native people. Through persistence and peaceful protest our Native people and allies were able to get the pipeline rerouted.

Mental Health and Hip-Hop

Kid Cudi checked himself into rehab for his mental health struggles and we saw Kanye West spiral out of control right before our eyes. We addressed the issue fully here.