Usually, when a Black man enters a subway car, cup in hand, pleading tone perfected, cynical and bored passengers duck down further into their books, or turn the music pumping through their ear buds up a little louder.
This time, when the presumed panhandler entered a Philadelphia SEPTA train, he generated the same response — until the passengers realized that this was no ordinary panhandler.
The man turned out to be doing pretty well — living in a nice suburb, excelling in his career, with a daughter accepted into an Ivy League school on a full scholarship and just returned from a lovely family vacation. But his closing statement puts the icing on the cake:
“This cup in my hand is not for change; I have plenty of my own. It is just simply because I finished my latte and I refuse to litter.”
By this point, the riders are laughing and giving him high-fives, with one burly White man giving him a huge hug.
The “Subway Bragger” — which was staged by College Humor/Glaceau Vitamin Water and is definitely a must-see — has gone wildly viral, often being misidentified as an NYC subway prank.
From <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/12/22/sandra-bland-family-non-indictment/" target="_blank"><strong>Sandra Bland</strong></a> to the shootings in <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/06/20/why-is-south-carolina-using-a-judge-in-the-charleston-church-massacre-who-has-used-the-n-word-before/" target="_blank">Charleston, South Carolina</a>, African Americans were sadly reminded that being <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/12/13/police-brutality-2015/" target="_blank">Black in America</a> is much harder than it ought to be. And yet in the same breath, 2015 was a year of Black joy during which our culture dominated not only in our lives, but in the mainstream consciousness. From <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/07/16/lee-daniels-and-taraji-p-henson-emmy-empire/" target="_blank">Cookie Lyons</a> to the <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/10/17/ebony-editor-comments-cosby-cover/" target="_blank">Cosby <em>Ebony </em>cover</a>, our brilliance helped to push the conversation, affirm our greatness, make history and most important, make us laugh.
So to celebrate that greatness, we put together this list of the most defining Black pop culture moments of 2015. And don’t worry: <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/12/08/rachel-dolezal-interview/" target="_blank">Rachel Dolezal </a>is nowhere to be seen.