The Trayvon Martin verdict
July 13, 2013 will be a day few African-Americans will ever forget. On that night, George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in the death of unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The verdict sparked nationwide protests and calls for reform of our country’s self-defense gun laws.
Supreme Court guts the Voting Rights Act
In June the Supreme Court, in anticipated and feared ruling, decided to strip this legendary legislation of its teeth for the first time since its passing in 1965, Without Section 4, many believe black voters’ rights will be in danger in ensuing elections.
Paula Deen’s n-word controversy
While the celebrity chef’s transgressions were not necessarily anything new, the massive fallout was. The Deen debacle showed it was a brave new world for famous white figures who dabble in hate speech or actions (see Phil Robertson, Julianne Hough, et al.)
Obamacare rollout stumbles
Despite having enrolled over 1 million people, even the White House admits that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been a mess. The damage has seriously wounded President Obama’s legacy and he has precious little time to recoup his losses.
The government shuts down
This fall in an effort by Republicans to prevent the implementation of Obamacare, the federal government was shut down. The whole debacle damaged the already unpopular GOP brand, cost billions of dollars and did nothing to end health care reform.
March on Washington at 50
Thousands of Americans flocked to our nation’s capitol this summer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic March for Jobs and Justice, which featured Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.
Miley Cyrus at the VMAs
Arguably the most over-covered story of the year, you couldn’t avoid seeing or talking about the young pop star’s ‘twerking’ at the MTV Video Music Awards. Was it racially insensitive? Was it too sexually explicit? Was it just fun? Or all of the above? The debate continues.
The Kendrick Johnson case
The mysterious death of this Georgia teen, who was discovered rolled up in a gym mat, brought back memories of Emmett Till for many African-Americans. The investigation into his death continues, raising more questions than answers.
The year in black film
This year may go down as the most successful critically and commercially for films with predominately black casts and themes ever. ’12 Years a Slave’, ‘Fruitvale Station’ and ‘The Butler’ are all part of the Oscar conversation. And ‘The Best Man Holiday’ showed audiences there was comedic life outside the world of Tyler Perry.
The death of Nelson Mandela
The South African icon past aware after a long illness this December at the age of 95. His life was celebrated throughout the world and dignitaries from around the globe were united in their praise of his leadership and wisdom.
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2013 was not one of our favorites.
Although the economy showed improvement, the setbacks of Obamacare and the government shutdown overshadowed the post-2012 election euphoria.
There were some promising developments in pop culture, with African-Americans making great strides in film and music.
We also recognized some important milestones: the anniversaries of ‘I Have a Dream’ and the death of Medgar Evers.
And we lost one of history’s greatest heroes, Nelson Mandela.
From the Trayvon Martin case to Miley Cyrus’ infamous twerking, this won’t be a year any of us will soon forget.
Take a trip down memory lane we recognize the 10 biggest stories of the year in black America.