By: Carag @exclusivelycarag

If there’s anything that Black folks will do we will find joy in celebrating Black culture and Black icons any chance we get. If there’s no bigger takeaway from 2020 other than a global pandemic, then that is exactly how we should remember this year. We’ve lost a lot and we’ve gained so much more!

From Verzuz battles with musical icons ranging from Brandy and Monica to Babyface and Teddy Riley, to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation partnering with Random House to form a new publishing imprint, Roc Lit 101. Here’s a 2020 recap of all things Black.

Oprah Winfrey got us off the right foot this year when she announced her first national arena tour in five years, Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus. Oprah will brought a full day wellness event to nine U.S. cities! Oprah helped motivate millions across the country to make 2020 the year of renewal and celebrate all we are meant to be.

Unfortunately, in late January basketball legend Kobe Bryant died along with several others in a January helicopter crash at age 41. The 18-time NBA All-Star who won five championships and became one of the greatest basketball players of his generation during a 20-year career spent entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Light was shed upon sports fans in February when the Chiefs are Super Bowl champions for the first time in 50 years. After a slow start in Super Bowl LIV, the Chiefs pulled off yet another double-digit comeback in the playoffs.

Say their names. The death of Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker who was shot and killed by Louisville police officers in March during a raid on her apartment, was the first drivers of wide-scale demonstrations that erupted in 2020 over policing and racial injustice in the United States.

Thanks to Timberland and Swizz Beats, people were able to experience somewhat of a concert experience from the comfort of their living rooms for free, and the beauty of it all was that they had a little something for everyone.

George Floyd’s death led to months of contentious demonstrations across the world. His death at the hands of the officer was compared to that of Eric Garner, who died in New York
after officers placed him in a chokehold during an arrest over Garner selling illegal cigarettes.

What began as a proposed day of reflection after the death of George Floyd morphed into something broader, leading some to complain that #BlackLivesMatter posts were being silenced. The
digital protest took on a life of its own as it was adopted by artists like Rihanna, Quincy Jones, Yoko Ono and the Rolling Stones, spreading far beyond music under the #BlackoutTuesday hashtag.

Hollywood was stunned by the death of Boseman, who is known best for playing T’Challa in 2018’s “Black Panther,” and made several appearances in other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
Chadwick passed away August 28. “A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much,” his family said in a statement.

As we continue to fight for justice for those named above and more, US Open Champion Naomi Osaka shines a light on racial injustice with face masks during tournament. “As a black woman I
feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis,”

Amongst all legends we’ve honored we must include actor and comedian John Witherspoon, whose first roles were on 1970s TV shows such as Barnaby Jones and The Richard Pryor Show but who was best known for his role as the crotchety dad in the Friday films.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The black community lost a lot this year, but we gained the first black Vice President of the United States of America. Not only is she our first black VP, but she is also an HBCU graduate and a member of the first historically African-American Greek Lettered Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Speaking of black excellence, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation ended the year securing a deal with Random House to form a new publishing imprint, Roc Lit 101 alongside Random House, the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world with new books on the way from Lil Uzi Vert and Meek Mill, among others.