YouTube announces slate of original series ‘dedicated to amplifying Black voices’

YouTube is unveiling the first slate of shows to come out of its $100 million fund dedicated to amplifying the voices of Black creators, newly named the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund.

The shows include Resist, a 12-episode documentary series about injustice in policing, bail, and incarceration; Onyx Family Dinner, a kids series about families sharing “different perspectives” and “thought provoking stories”; Barbershop Medicine, which examines how race impacts health care; Bear Witness, Take Action Part Two, a follow-up to the fund’s debut charity special focused on racial justice; and HBCU Homecoming 2020: Meet Me On The Yard, a charity live stream event raising money for the United Negro College Fund and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

There are also six upcoming YouTube specials and original series that weren’t part of the fund but that YouTube says “center on the global Black experience and address racial justice.” That includes a series called Trapped: Cash Bail in America, which examines racial inequalities in the justice system, and a special episode of BookTube with Jason Reynolds, co-author of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You. (Disclosure: one of the series, Glad You Asked, is made by Vox, which shares the same parent company as The Verge.)

YouTube says the fund will support three years of acquisitions and productions for YouTube Originals. The goal is to highlight “Black experiences around the world” and “directly support Black creators and artists so that they can thrive on YouTube.”

The fund was announced in early June, as Black Lives Matter protests urged companies to consider their failings in supporting Black communities. Major tech companies began making donations and establishing funds dedicated to supporting Black-owned businesses and organizations. Google later announced $175 million it was dedicating to racial equity initiatives.

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