YouTube Unveils Original Content Centered on 'Amplifying Black Voices and Elevating Black Culture'

YouTube is launching a full slate of original content designed to amplify Black voices.

On Wednesday, the streaming platform announced a lineup of new original content that is "focused on racial justice, amplifying Black voices and elevating Black culture." The programming announcement includes new-season orders of titles like Glad You Asked, Lockdown and BookTube.

YouTube Originals also green-lighted a virtual, live-streamed HBCU Homecoming celebration Meet Me On the Yard, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24. The two-hour special will raise funds for the United Negro College Fund and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Along with longstanding traditions among Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the virtual event will feature musical showcases and band performances from Jackson State University's Sonic Boom of the South and FAMU's Marching 100.

Appearances from students, alumni, YouTube creators and inspirational video packages representing the legacy of HBCUs will also be incorporated in the broadcast, according to YouTube.

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“YouTube is committed to spotlighting community-driven storytelling and the important issues that people of color and other marginalized communities face everyday,” said Susanne Daniels, global head of original content for YouTube Originals, in a press release. “Now more than ever, it's essential that we develop, support and elevate content that is created by and for the Black community."

Some of the projects that are part of the new slate — including a docuseries from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors — come from the platform's $100 million YouTube Black Voices Fund. The global initiative will be used to "acquire and produce YouTube Originals programming and to directly support Black creators and artists to help them thrive on YouTube."

“Race has never been an easy issue to confront but the events over the last few months have opened up doors of dialogue and action that had once seemed closed,” said Malik Ducard, YouTube’s vice president of content partnerships. “Across YouTube, we have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to contribute to these conversations about racial justice in a meaningful way."

"Through our $100 million content fund and other initiatives, we are continuing the important work of amplifying Black voices, making YouTube a better place for Black creators, educating people on the diversity of the Black experience, and centering Black people as the messengers of their own stories.”

Some of the other titles announced include a December 2020 livestream Bear Witness: Take Action Part Two; a criminal justice reform docuseries Resist; Onyx Family Dinner; Barbershop Medicine (working title); Together We Rise; Trapped: Cash Bail in America (Oct. 12) and The Outsiders.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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