Each day, good, bad, and neutral news is reported, and 2022 was not left out. From Black achievements, sports, technology, and murder to violence, the year was filled with stories that caught a lot of attention.
These stories contained a mix of emotions. Some made us cry or laugh, and others made us proud or worried about what the future holds. As we welcome the new year, let’s look back at some of the biggest news stories that made headlines around the world in 2022.
Will Smith Oscar slap
Will Smith was banned from attending the Academy Awards for 10 years after he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. Comedian Rock was on stage to present the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars when he made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss, which is due to alopecia. Smith walked up on stage and hit Rock before going back to his seat and shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”
Smith later apologized during his best actor acceptance speech. Smith won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams in “King Richard”.
Ketanji Brown Jackson makes history
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the 116th Supreme Court justice and the first Black woman to serve on the country’s top court. Jackson took the oath of office in June, replacing retiring Justice Stephen Breyer after the court released its final rulings for this term. In April, the Senate confirmed Jackson to the nine-member bench, giving the U.S. Supreme Court a Black female justice for the first time in its 233-year history. U.S. President Joe Biden had said during a press conference in Delaware in June 2020 that he hoped to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court if given the opportunity.
Brittney Griner’s arrest
WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner, who had been detained since February in Russian prisons on drug smuggling charges, was released early this December. This followed a one-for-one prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout. Griner was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on February 17 for allegedly possessing vaporizer cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage which she reportedly said was used to treat a medical condition. The U.S. basketball star was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony.
Ahmaud Arbery’s killers sentenced
Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who were found guilty in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, were sentenced to life in prison. Travis McMichael, 35, and his father Gregory McMichael, 66, were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick, Georgia. Their neighbor Bryan, 52, will have to serve 30 years of his life sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Arbery, 25, was shot and killed on February 23, 2020, after he was confronted by Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis, while he was jogging outside Brunswick in Georgia. The older McMichael, who is a retired cop, had told officers that they had chased Arbery in a truck after he thought Arbery looked like a suspect who had been connected to a number of burglaries in the Brunswick area. The third defendant, Bryan, also followed Arbery in a different truck and filmed the fatal encounter. The three White men were later arrested and charged in connection with the killing.
Migos rap group member Takeoff was fatally shot and killed at a bowling alley in Houston in November. The rapper was with fellow band member Quavo when the incident occurred. The shooting reportedly happened following a confrontation after a dice game. Police said Takeoff was a bystander who had nothing to do with the altercation.
Stephen “tWitch” Boss dies
Remembered as a DJ on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show”, Stephen “tWitch” Boss died on December 13. Boss, who also shot into the limelight after competing in “So You Think You Can Dance”, was found dead in a motel room that he had checked into. His death was ruled as suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Roe v. Wade overturn
Nearly 50 years ago, abortion was made legal across the U.S. after a landmark ruling in the Roe v. Wade case. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, taking away constitutional protections for abortion. Many believe that the ruling disproportionately impacts Black women.
Elon Musk buying Twitter
There was a debate around freedom of speech after reports that Elon Musk was buying Twitter for $44 billion. In April, Twitter’s board of directors unanimously agreed to Musk’s offer to purchase the platform at a price of $44 billion, bringing the 16-year-old company under the control of one of the world’s richest people. Many began asking what could change in terms of content going forward, specifically within the #BlackTwitter community. Is this the beginning of the end of #BlackTwitter? some writers asked.
Morocco becomes first African country in World Cup semi-final
Morocco eliminated Portugal to become the first-ever African country to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. The Atlas Lions fought Portugal in a 1-0 victory in a quarter-final game at the Al Thumama Stadium at Doha in Qatar.