YouTube unveils series focused on amplifying black voices. These are the first set of new and returning shows that are targeted at the Black community. The shows focus on racial injustice, jail expansion, family dinners and colleges. Some of the shows are from the official #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.
The fund was set up in June as part of the company’s initiative to help and protect the black community on its platform. This fund will invest with an intention: to present fresh narratives that emphasize the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity and joy of Black voices, as well as to educate audiences about racial justice.
You will find below the new and returning YouTube Originals from the fund.
This 12 episode documentary series premieres on October 20 and follows the grassroots work of multicultural / inter-sectional organizations fighting the Los Angeles county’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan in 2018. It also examines the issues of cash bail, unlawful arrest, over-policing of Black and brown neighborhoods, and mass incarceration. The series is an emotional look into the motivations and daily struggles of the movement workers on the ground.
This seriest features incredibly inspiring stories from Patrisse Cullors (co-founder of Black Lives Matter), members of JusticeLA including Jayda Rasberry of Dignity and Power Now, Helen Jones of Dignity and Power Now and Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Bamby Salcedo of TransLatina Coalition, and Johnathan Perez of Immigrant Youth Coalition. Blackpills and Pulse Films produced the documentary series.
HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me On The Yard
This series Premieres on October 24. With HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) cancelling their annual Homecomings due to the global pandemic, YouTube partners with Jesse Collins Entertainment and Live Nation Urban to take the momentous celebration virtual. This two-hour livestream will be filled with homecoming traditions. It is to raise funds for the United Negro College Fund who plan to split 50% with Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
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In this live stream, you should expect musical performances, band performances from Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of The South, and FAMU’s Marching 100. You will also see step performances, as well as appearances from students, alumni, YouTube creators and inspirational video packages representing the legacy of HBCUs.
Bear Witness, Take Action Part Two (working title)
This livestream premieres on December 2020. This follows the success of the first “Bear Witness, Take Action” special. This was the first YouTube Originals project to come from YouTube’s $100M Black content fund. Part Two will again inspire the platform’s global community to take action for racial justice uniting YouTube creators, public figures, and influential voices.
In addition to the livestream, “Bear Witness, Take Action” Part Two will feature unique voices from the Black community producing short form content to share their perspectives and experiences on racial inequity. Viewers will have the opportunity to donate to racial justice initiatives directly on the YouTube livestream. The SpringHill Company, Fly On The Wall Entertainment, and Byron Phillips produced this series.
Onyx Family Dinner
This series premieres in early 2021. This new Kids & Families series gathers the multi-generational family for plenty of fun and open conversations about life and what’s going on in the world over dinner. Weekly dinner guests broaden the conversation with different perspectives, thought provoking stories, subject matter expertise and valuable insights. Produced by pocket.watch in association with Shine Global, “Onyx Family Dinner” stars the Onyx Family and is executive produced by Keith Brown, Albie Hecht, the Onyx Family, and Chris M.Williams.
Barbershop Medicine (working title)
This premieres in 2021. In Barbershop Medicine, YouTube aims to put the “public” back in Public Health. It explores the impact race and socioeconomic status have on healthcare and longevity. The barbershop has long been a center of community, as captured in the landmark clinical trial of blood-pressure reduction that delivered education and care in barbershops.
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Drawing from this concept of community medicine, the special will bring together musicians, renowned physicians, Creators and community members. This will be in a storied barbershop to discuss today’s most pressing health concerns and raise awareness. This ranges from vaccines to diabetes, cancer to mental health, and beyond. The special will be produced by Charles D. King, Marta Fernandez, Jelani Johnson, and Alisha Corpas Wynn for MACRO Television Studios.
In addition to the above series, there are also a number of YouTube Originals series prior to the launch of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. These also center on global Black experiences and address racial justice. This includes:
- Together We Rise (streaming now on GRM Daily’s YouTube Channel ),
- Trapped: Cash Bail in America (premieres October 12. You can watch the official trailer here),
- a special episode of BookTube featuring Jason Reynolds (premieres October 22),
- The Outsiders (premieres February 2021),
- Glad You Asked Season 2 (premieres February 2021), and
- new episodes of the award-winning Kids & Family series Lockdown (new episodes premiere November 19).
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