It’s been a tough year for people of color but some platforms and organizations are making a bigger effort now than they every have before. YouTube just announced their global slate of new and returning projects, dedicated to amplifying Black voices which include both existing programming as well as some new projects which have resulted from the $100M #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, including a documentary series from Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and a HBCU Homecoming (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) livestream special.
“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. “Now more than ever, it’s essential that we develop, support, and elevate content that is created by and for the Black community.”
“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,” says Malik Ducard, YouTube’s Vice President, 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.”
The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is a $100M fund dedicated to amplifying and developing the voices of Black creators and artists and their stories. Over the next three years, this global fund will be used to acquire and produce YouTube Originals programming, and to directly support Black creators and artists to help them thrive on YouTube.
Here are the new and returning YouTube Originals from the fund:
Resist – Series premieres October 2020
This 12 episode documentary series follows the grassroots work of multicultural/intersectional organizations fighting the Los Angeles county’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan in 2018 and 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, featuring 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. The docuseries is produced by Blackpills and Pulse Films. Executive Producers are Patrisse Cullors, Dream Hampton, Mervyn Marcano, Thomas Benski, Marisa Clifford, Robin Frank, Tani Ikeda, Kai Bowe, Davey Spens, Clara Levy and Philipe Haim.
HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me On The Yard – Livestream Premieres October 24
With HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) across the country cancelling their annual Homecomings due to the global pandemic, YouTube in partnership with Jesse Collins Entertainment and Live Nation Urban will take the momentous celebration virtual. This two-hour livestream will be filled with homecoming traditions to raise funds for the United Negro College Fund who plan to split 50% with Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Expect musical performances, band performances from Jackson State University’s Sonic Boom of The South, and FAMU’s Marching 100, Step performances, as well as appearances from students, alumni, YouTube creators and inspirational video packages representing the legacy of HBCUs. Executive Producers of “HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me On The Yard” are Jesse Collins, Shawn Gee, Dionne Harmon, Brandon Pankey, and Chris Wagner.
Bear Witness, Take Action Part Two (working title) – Livestream Premieres December 2020 Following the success of the first “Bear Witness, Take Action” special, which 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, which will live on YouTube. Viewers will be encouraged to donate to racial justice initiatives directly on the YouTube livestream. The special is produced by the SpringHill Company, Fly On The Wall Entertainment, and Byron Phillips. Reginald Hudlin serves as Executive Producer and Showrunner.
Onyx Family Dinner – Premieres Early 2021
Join the Onyx Family (6M+ combined subscribers) for the dinner table conversation you wish your family had! 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) – Premieres 2021
In Barbershop Medicine YouTube aims to put the “public” back in Public Health, exploring 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. Drawing from this concept of community medicine, the special will bring together musicians, renowned physicians, Creators and community members in a storied barbershop to discuss today’s most pressing health concerns and raise awareness – from vaccines to diabetes, cancer to mental health, and beyond. The special will be executive produced by Charles D. King, Marta Fernandez, Jelani Johnson, and Alisha Corpas Wynn for MACRO Television Studios.
Hit the flip for upcoming and returning YouTube Originals titles that were developed prior to the launch of YouTube’s Black Content Fund, but which also center on the global Black experience and address racial justice.