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2017: A Year of Ups and Downs

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2017: A Year of Ups and Downs

Tuskegee University Athletics

Tuskegee University Athletics

Tuskegee University Athletics

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Although it seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, 2017 was undoubtedly an eventful year. The year was filled with the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. From pop culture to politics, there was never a dull moment in the world this year. You may have chosen to forget some of the events that occurred in 2017, but here’s a recap for those of you who wish to reminisce.
2017 began with the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20th. This, of course, elicited some positive reactions and some negative reactions. 2017 was filled with resistance to Trump’s presidency and signs that stated things like “Not My President” and “Dump Trump.” Political tension was on the rise after the inauguration, and protests continued throughout the year.
However, Trump’s presidency was not the only thing leading to mass resistance. On October 15th, as a response to the sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted out a message of encouragement to all those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted to tweet the words “Me too.” She wanted the world to understand the magnitude of the problem. The #MeToo movement was originally started by activist Tarana Burke 10 years ago. Milano’s tweet simply amplified the movement, and now the two are working together to resist sexual harassment. The movement spread through a domino effect after Milano’s tweet was shared. One victim speaking out about their experience with sexual harassment led to millions and millions of people sharing their stories.  #MeToo began trending on Twitter, and then it spread to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. It became an international movement, taking power away from perpetrators and giving a voice to victims. This movement was so substantial that Time editors named these “Silence Breakers” as 2017’s Person of the Year.
The United States experienced the universe’s natural beauty with the total solar eclipse that took place on August 21st, 2017. It was the first of its kind to sweep the entire nation since 1918. Eye safety was a concern in regards to viewing the eclipse, and Americans were warned to wear “eclipse glasses” in order to save their eyesight. NASA covered the solar eclipse live, for those of us who were not in a direct vantage point. The eclipse shook the entire nation, and unfortunately, some natural disasters did as well. The U.S. experienced a multitude of climate disasters in 2017. Many of these were hurricanes, with Americans suffering from flooding and extreme winds as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria devastating places such as Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. On the other hand, the west coast suffered from extreme wildfires throughout the year. This was California’s most destructive wildfire season yet.
The world has been no stranger to devastating news lately, and there were far too many terrorist attacks and shootings in 2017. The Gun Violence Archive tracked over 300 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2017. These included the shooting of the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and one of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. of a concert in Las Vegas with around 58 people dead and over 500 injured. However, guns were not the only weapons used to inflict violence. There were truck and van rammings in New York City, Barcelona, Charlottesville, and London. Bomb explosions killed many in London, Saint Petersburg, and at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. However, the world refused to let terror and fear win. Ariana Grande and several guests such as Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry performed at the One Love Manchester benefit concert, held about two weeks after the attack in Manchester. The heartwarming benefit was sold out and held on June 4th, 2017.
It’s inevitable that lives are lost each year, and often we mourn more than a few lives of notable icons. In 2017, we had to say goodbye to actor Adam West, actress Mary Tyler Moore, Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, musician Tom Petty, and rapper Lil Peep. These are only a few of the celebrities who died this past year. Their deaths were heartbreaking for many, but numbers of people were brought together in mourning and memorials, such as Lil Peep’s Memorial in Echo Park in Los Angeles that was held shortly after his death. Chester Bennington’s death surfaced conversations about stigmas around mental illness, and Lil Peep’s death brought awareness to the dangers of drug addiction.
It might seem like bad news is always the biggest news, but we can’t forget about things like April the Giraffe giving birth at Animal Adventure Park in New York in April, Winona Ryder’s plethora of facial expressions at the SAG Awards in January, Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle, and Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement, which ultimately became the most-liked Instagram post ever. Despite the ups and downs of the rollercoaster ride that was 2017, we can collectively conclude that it was a life-changing year for us all, and we are more than ready for what 2018 has to offer.
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Sarah Sulc, Managing Editor

Sarah Sulc is a junior at the Mount. Most of the time you'll catch her crying over her homework or procrastinating. Sometimes, though, she finds herself busy...

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2017: A Year of Ups and Downs