There is no culture like BLACK culture. That’s it. That’s the post.
This year, HBCU Buzz is proud to launch our Black History Month 29 campaign. Remembering and celebrating 29 days of Black culture and history in the last decade.
Starting now, we hope you join us as we look back at 15 iconic moments in Black culture.
Happy Black History Month!!!
1WelvenDaGreat, GOTEM Viral Meme (2015)
Welven became an internet sensation after popularizing the “GOTEM!” meme. The phrase is a viral punchline that involves asking someone a question which elicits the response of “Deez Nuts.”
The obnoxious lingo came into being from Dr. Dre’s 1982 album, Chronic. In a video posted by Welven on social media, he can be seen asking someone on the phone to guess what he got in the mail. The YouTuber goes on to say “deez nuts.” The clip has now amassed over 7.8 million views on YouTube.
2Birdman ‘Put Some Respeck On My Name” (2016)
And we do mean Resect with a K on the end! Because Birdman said it with his whole chest during his guest appearance on the Breakfast Club in April 2016.
Before the show even started, Birdman warned DJ Envy, Charlamagne Tha God, and Angela Yee to respect his name on the show and stop playing with him. When the interview, which only lasted a few minutes, actually started, Birdman and Charlamagne went back and forth before Baby eventually got up and walked off the set.
Most of this hostility seems to stem from Trick Daddy and Rick Ross’ previous Breakfast Club interviews, where Birdman and his business tactics were brought up as a topic of discussion.
3Becky With The Good Hair (2016)
Alright na, it’s been nearly a decade since Queen B told him who to call, and we still don’t know who Becky is! Of the myriad talking points from Beyoncé’s 2016 surprise visual album “Lemonade,” perhaps the most intriguing has centered around the identity of “Becky with the good hair.”
It’s unclear whether Beyoncé is singing autobiographically or assuming the voice of a fictional character but in the iconic line she says: “He only want me when I’m not on there / He better call Becky with the good hair.”
4Jesse Williams BET Acceptance Speech (2016)
And that’s on that! Actor Jesse Williams bodied ‘em on BET during his 2016 Humanitarian Award Speech.
Williams’ speech highlighted racial injustice, police brutality, and the invention of whiteness. Referencing recent victims of police brutality, Williams discussed the violence against black people and the struggles they’ve faced throughout history: “There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us,” he said.
His most iconic line was perhaps at the end of his speech when he reminded America: “…just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.
5Maxine Waters “Reclaim My Time” (2017)
We know that’s right, Aunt Maxine!
In July 2017, during a House Financial Services Committee meeting, Waters questioned United States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. At several points during the questioning, Waters used the phrase “reclaiming my time” when Mnuchin did not directly address the questions Waters had asked him.
The video of the interaction between Waters and Mnuchin became popular on social media, and the phrase became attached to her criticisms of Trump.
6Black Panther Release (2018)
Wakanda Forever! Writing for Time, Jamil Smith wrote that he felt Black Panther would “prove to Hollywood that African-American narratives have the power to generate profits from all audiences”, and described it as a resistance to “a regressive cultural and political moment fueled in part by the white-nativist movement…
And whew, it did it all and more.
Black Panther grossed $700.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $681.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.382 billion. It became the highest-grossing solo superhero film, the third-highest-grossing film of the MCU and superhero film overall, the ninth-highest-grossing film of all time, and the highest-grossing film by an African-American director.
7Soulja Boy Infamous “Draaakeee” Breakfast Club Meme (2019)
Soulja Boy Told ‘Em who stole his whole flow! During his guest appearance on The Breakfast Club, the “Crank That” rapper was conversing with Charlamagne Tha God when the presenter referred to Drake as “the biggest rapper in the world” at the time.
In a moment that quickly went viral, Soulja Boy leapt out of his chair in apparent disbelief and yelled: “Drake?! The n**** that got bodied by Pusha T? Drake?! Y’all n****s better stop playing with me in here. Y’all talking about the light-skinned n**** from [Degrassi]?”
Going on to explain the reasons behind his horror at Drake being placed at such a position in the hip-hop hierarchy, he went on to claim that he was personally responsible for much of the Canadian rapper’s sustained success.
8#DontRush Social Media Challenge (2020)
On March 22, Toluwalase Asolo, a 20-year-old business management student at the University of Hull, tweeted a clip with the caption, “The boredom jumped out.”
To the song of “Don’t Rush” by U.K. rap duo Young T and Bugsey, she and her seven girlfriends changed looks seamlessly while passing around a makeup brush used as a metaphorical baton. This one minute and 26-second video would go on to amass 2 million views and become the popular #DontRushChallenge.
9Will & Jada, & The ‘Entanglement’ (2020)
Entanglement: an unconventional relationship. The word became synonymous with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith after their now-famous July 2020 “Red Table Talk” episode.
Jada Pinkett Smith‘s dating life made major headlines when August Alsina added himself into the narrative amid the actress’ decades-long marriage to Will Smith. During an interview in July 2020, Alsina claimed that he had previously been romantically involved with Pinkett Smith — and that her husband gave his blessing.
After initially denying the musician’s claims, Pinkett Smith later revealed she was separated from Smith when the “entanglement” took place. “We were over. From there, as time went on, I got into a different kind of entanglement with August,” she said.
10Usher “Tiny Desk Watch This” Viral Meme (2022)
In celebration Black Music Month in 2022, Usher delivered a medley of classic cuts in the latest edition of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series.
While Usher’s performance was undoubtedly one of the best installments of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert, it’s not the R&B icon’s singing that went viral. Instead, the most meme-worthy moment from the performance came from the beginning of “Confessions Part II,” which features Usher saying “watch this.”
The moment that’s gone viral sees Usher bouncing to the music and motioning his open fingers over his eyes as he whispers, “Watch this.” The audience members immediately started laughing afterward, as Usher did too, before he launched into a rendition of the hit 2004 single.
11The Montgomery Riverboat Brawl (2023)
A wielding chair and a hat in the air! It was a moment that spoke to us all. The “Montgomery Riverboat Brawl” likely won’t be forgotten in the yearly cycle of another league or awards season. The when and where is as important as what happened that afternoon in Alabama.
The August riverfront melee in Montgomery drew national attention after bystanders filmed white boaters hitting a Black riverboat co-captain and others rushing to his defense. Video of the fight was shared widely online, sparking countless memes and parodies.
12Angel Reese Basketball Brag (2023)
Angel Reese was an unstoppable force for the LSU Tigers throughout their run to the 2023 national championship. But instead of feeling love and adoration from college basketball fans as she recorded a record 34 double-doubles on the season, Reese said she “was critiqued about who I was” all season long.
The 6-foot-3 forward pulled out John Cena’s famed “You can’t see me” celebration — which Clark herself deployed during an explosive Sweet 16 performance — to taunt the National Player of the Year. She also pointed to the finger where she plans to wear her championship ring.
Critics immediately headed to social media to slam Reese for her antics. “No class” was trending on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the game, almost surely in reference to the Tigers star later named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
“I’m too hood, I’m too ghetto. Y’all told me that all year. But when other people do it, y’all don’t say nothing. So this is for the girls that look like me.”
13Druski Standing On Business (2023)
Standing On Business is a slang phrase that means “taking care of business,” or defending oneself, especially under pressure.
The phrase grew popular in 2023 after comedian Druski made a series of sketches using the phrase. Rapper Drake quoted the phrase in the song ‘Daylight’ in his album For All The Dogs in October 2023, leading to renewed interest in the term. In January 2024, a pose and redraw meme sometimes known as the standing on business pose went viral.
14Keith Lee Viral Atlanta Restaurant Review (2023)
Sorry to this city! In October 2023, Keith Lee said Atlanta needed to step up their restaurant game after the popular TikTok food critic visited over 8 food spots in the ATL.
The capital of the Peach State turned out to be the worst of the bunch in Lee’s opinion, with the food critic saying the restaurants he ate at made it “hard to get food.”
15‘Katt Williams vs. Everybody’ Club Shay Shay Interview (2024)
If you were a fan of Katt Williams before watching the interview, you should have upgraded to an air conditioner by now! The comedian’s interview on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast has racked up more than 55 million views on YouTube since premiering earlier this year.
Williams called out various other popular comedians and celebrities for not being truthful about comments made on their previous appearances on Sharpe’s show, and for not being transparent about how they achieved their success.
A WHOLE lot was said during the show, and the nearly three-hour long interview has dominated internet headlines since it dropped.