The year 2017 will forever be remembered with a sense of apprehension since it marked the departure of former United States President Barack Obama, who handed the administration to Donald Trump, a former reality television star. Setting aside this unfortunate development, there were many positive aspects of 2017 that are worth mentioning and remembering:
Women’s March Against Trump
The largest protest in American history took place in January as more than 200,000 people gathered to protest the inauguration of President Trump and his political agenda. The Women’s March was conducted peacefully and featured several celebrities such as Alicia Keys, who performed during the protest, and politicians such as former Secretary of State John Kerry. Similar marches were organized around the world, and analysts believe that this movement sparked a new and stronger wave of activism that focuses on human and women’s rights.
At the age of 36, the most popular tennis player in the world became a mother in early September, and she was back on the court before the end of the year. Serena Williams only took a few months to recover after giving birth to her baby girl Alexis Olympia; she lost an exhibition match against the reigning French Open champion, but she has stated that she feels positive about the future, which may include extending her Grand Slam record beyond 23 titles.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry of Wales
Britain’s Prince Harry made headlines when he announced his engagement to Hollywood Actress Meghan Markle, a woman who will make history as one of the few Americans to have joined the British royal family. The last time an American married a British Royal in 1936, the headlines were so scandalous that King Edward was forced to abdicate; this time around, the engagement of Prince Harry has been received with enthusiasm.
The queen of hip-hop, pop and R&B enjoyed a very big year by welcoming twins and achieving the prestige of being the highest earner among female musicians. In 2017, Beyonce made more than $100 million while on the road performing in support of her best-selling Lemonade album. Beyoncé capped the year appearing in “Family Feud,” a new single and video produced by her hip-hop mogul husband Jay-Z.
Political Shifts Around the World
In Africa, two events are signaling hope for the future: in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe was forced to resign after a long period of largely corrupt and mostly undemocratic rule; in Liberia, former football legend George Weah was elected President by followers who are hopeful he will be able to leverage his considerable international connections and bring direct foreign investment to a nation that is desperate for development. In Spain, the region of Catalonia moved democratically closer to independence, but not before violent protests rocked the region. Finally, the people of Iran took to the streets in massive protests against the government, which responded with deadly force and censorship of social networks in fear of an uprising similar to the Arab Spring.