18 Times Black People Broke The Internet In 2016

18 Times Black People Broke The Internet In 2016

Black people, yet again, had a remarkable influence on the internet this year.

From taking stances for social justice to creating viral challenges that kept us entertained, black social media users proved just how influential their power is. They raised awareness about police brutality with #BlackLivesMatter, provided education on mental health issues with #YouGoodMan and gave us some much-needed laughter with memes galore.

Relive some of the good that came out of 2016 with these 18 times black people won the internet.


#RunningmanChallenge 😂 @jerrygunnz 🎥 By @malachi_variations IB By @Rah2bandz

A video posted by Kevin Soze 🎙 (@11.oo7) on

After high schoolers Kevin Vincent and Jeremiah Hall began posting videos of themselves doing a revamped running man to Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo,” the challenge took the internet by storm. It even landed the teens a spot on “The Ellen Show” and a $10,000 scholarship.


Monica and Missy Elliot’s “So Gone” made a comeback when the internet started doing rapping over the beat in the #SoGoneChallenge. The best rendition, arguably, has to be Chance the Rapper singing to his girlfriend.

When Luke Cage shut down Netflix

It’s no surprise that watching a black bulletproof superhero in a hoodie fight injustice would draw fans. But no one predicted that so many people would tune in that Netflix’s servers would shut down for a could of hours. Sweet Christmas!


After rapper Kid Cudi revealed that he was getting treatment for his anxiety and depression, @DaynaLNuckolls and @TheCosby created a space for black men on Twitter to discuss and learn about mental health. It was a necessary hashtag that underscored the importance of this conversation continuing.

This photo of the Obamas oozing with black love


Timelines everywhere were filled with Essence magazine’s photo of POTUS and FLOTUS as they shared an intimate moment. They reminded us of the beauty of black love and how much we’re going to miss the couple in 2017.

Joe and Barack memes

Not only do these viral memes play on what we imagine President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s relationship to be but they’re also funny as hell.

Mannequin Challenge

This challenge, made popular by black teens across the country, proved that standing perfectly still in mid-action poses demands more creativity than you’d think.


This hashtag, created by Cherrell Brown the day after Beyoncé gave a Black Panther-inspired performance at the SuperBowl, unapologetically celebrated black girlhood and womanhood. It served as a reminder that we always deserve to be uplifted and empowered.

Mr. Krabs Blur Meme

Thanks to Twitter, the best way to illustrate an utterly confusing situation you were in this year was with the Mr. Krabs meme. Overhear your white friend talking out the side of his neck at a party? This is the meme for you.


Activists like Killer Mike issued a call to action for the black community to open accounts at their local black bank. This resulted in several black-owned banks seeing an increase in business, including Citizen’s Trust Bank in which 8,000 people opened bank accounts with in a span of five days.

Arthur memes

Screenshots from the childhood show “Arthur” became jokes when Twitter added its own tongue-in-cheek (and sometimes inappropriate) commentary. Nonetheless, these viral memes brought pure hilarity.


HMM TRY THAT SENTENCE AGAIN DOESN’T MAKE SENSE —> Throwback videos aren’t safe from becoming memes. When Suede the Remix God and iComplexity got a hold of an old Shirley Ceasar sermon, they gifted the world with the most lit Thanksgiving anthem ever.


After Chance tweeted this photo of himself on the red carpet with the caption #BlackBoyJoy, it sparked a movement. Other black men and boys began sharing photos of themselves and their loved ones exuding all of their glorious joy.


“Another Round” host and “The Late Show” writer Heben Nigatu created this hashtag to spread some joy in the midst of black trauma. Seeing videos of little black kids enjoying life was the remedy we all needed.


This black love story warmed hearts and made us all shed tears. Their hashtag flooded Instagram timelines when Alfred Duncan proposed to Sherrell Duncan and threw her a surprise wedding within hours.

Dark Kermit memes

Social media users created some hilariously relatable memes from a video featuring Kermit the frog and his “dark side.” Black Twitter took this screenshot and ran with it, imagining scenarios in which their dark alter ego kicks in.

Simone Manuel’s win

This little star told her mom “I got next!” after Simone Manuel tied for gold in women’s swimming at the Olympics this summer. Her and all of the black girls who witnessed Manuel make history proved just how much representation matters.


Though neither the hashtag or movement began this year, it still needs to be said. Black lives matter. With at least 243 black people killed by the police, citizens in Flint, Michigan still not having clean water and a racist for president-elect, the phrase cannot be overstated. Even Ben and Jerry’s thinks so. All lives can’t matter until black lives matter.

Via HuffPost, Taryn Finley | Black Voices Associate Editor