YouTube Unveils First Set of Shows Created By Black Voices Fund

YouTube has made good on its promise to support content that amplifies Black voices and perspectives. The video giant announced a new slate of original programming supported by its #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Wednesday, Oct. 7.

In a series of tweets about the upcoming shows, YouTube said the fund was dedicated to “Black voices amplified, racial justice defended and black culture celebrated.” It promised “shows that entertain, inform and inspire.”

YouTube announced a new slate of original programming supported by its #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Wednesday, Oct. 7.

The upcoming slate includes five YouTube Originals that are a mix of series, documentaries and events unique to the Black experience.

Among them are: “Resist,” a 12-episode documentary that follows activists doing grassroots work as they fight Los Angeles County’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan; “HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me On The Yard,” which will celebrate historically Black colleges with a virtual homecoming as well as raise money for the United Negro College Fund and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund; “Bear Witness, Take Action,” which highlights racial injustice and encourages creators and influencers to take action to find solutions to combat it; “Onyx Family Dinner,” a series that highlights parents and kids having open conversations; and “Barbershop Medicine,” which highlights racial disparities in health care.

Separate from the fund, YouTube also highlighted programming that was already in development that is relevant to the Black community.

They include “Trapped: Cash Bail in America”; “Together We Rise,” which takes an in-depth look at Black British music; and more. Many of the shows are debuting in October.

The fund was first announced in June not long after the death of George Floyd in an open letter by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. It did not bear its current name at the time.

“At YouTube, we believe Black lives matter and we all need to do more to dismantle systemic racism. … We’re committed to doing better as a platform to center and amplify Black voices and perspectives,” Wojcicki wrote before announcing the fund.

YouTube’s VP of Content Partnerships Malik Ducard echoed her words in his Oct. 7 letter about the new programming.

“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,” Ducard wrote. “Over the next three years, this global fund will be used to acquire and produce YouTube Originals programming, focused on Black experiences around the world, and to directly support Black creators and artists so that they can thrive on YouTube.”

Ducard added they would invest so gifted creators in the Black community could get the support they need to thrive.

“Our YouTube Black community is filled with so many passionate, talented, brilliant, and driven creatives. Now, we’re working to give these awesome creators and artists the resources to match,” Ducard wrote.

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