It’s easy to dismiss 2016 as shitty, and that’s because it mostly was. But with the bad came the good. The proof is all around the internet: There were some great albums and music videos released and things to read. There were some stellar films, too. There were amazing books. The number and quality of television shows has also never been better. See, there were the occasional snippets of light during an otherwise dark time.
For some much-needed optimism, we polled artists, musicians, and authors to see what their favorite moments of the year were. Some called out more personal accomplishments, while others focused on broader cultural happenings. These reflections are proof that 2016 wasn’t ALL—just mostly—bad.
Nicole Dennis-Benn, author
It is no doubt that 2016 had been a challenge for many who are still grappling with the new direction of our country. However, there were lots of moments that stood out to me as memorable. For one, the publication of my first book, Here Comes The Sun, which has been featured and reviewed in the New York Times, among other reputable mainstream publications, in addition to receiving critical and popular acclaim. Nevertheless, my favorite moment of 2016 was my book launch.
It was a warm day in July, typical weather for the middle of summer. The chosen venue was Greenlight Bookstore, my favorite neighborhood independent bookstore in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Upon arrival to the bookstore, after a Champagne toast with my publicist and publisher at a nearby restaurant, the whole room stood and applauded my entrance, raising their cups of rum punch. There were people everywhere; standing room only, with some people having to view the event from the glass windows outside on Fulton Street. I couldn't help but think, in that moment, that this must be what heaven feels like. It was beyond magical to see among strangers, my wife, my mother, all my friends from childhood to adulthood, my in-laws, agent, publicist, old classmates, former and current colleagues, and acquaintances in that overcrowded room, witnessing me accomplish my dream.