The announced titles continue YouTube’s long-standing commitment to celebrating a broad and diverse set of perspectives on its platform. This includes new projects that have come directly out of the recently announced $100M #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, including a documentary series from Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and a HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) live stream special.
Over the next three years, #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund will be used to acquire and produce YouTube Originals programming and to directly support Black creators and artists across the globe, to help them thrive on YouTube.
“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.”
Here are the new and returning YouTube Originals from the fund:
Resist – (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 across the country canceling 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.
Watch the first teaser HERE.
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.
“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, one of the video-production companies created by LeBron James and Maverick Carter. 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 with weekly dinner guests.
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 the 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
The special will be executive produced by Charles D. King, Marta Fernandez, Jelani Johnson, and Alisha Corpas Wynn for MACRO Television Studios.
Below are the 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:
Together We Rise – Streaming Now on GRM Daily’s YouTube Channel
Eleven years ago, Grime Daily was just a YouTube channel started by two young entrepreneurs who were focused on providing a platform for emerging Black hip hop and rap artists in the UK to showcase their work. Fast forward to present, GRM Daily is one of the largest media platforms in the UK, complete with a recording label and awards show.
Trapped: Cash Bail in America – (Premieres October 12)
Every year, millions of Americans are incarcerated before even being convicted of a crime – all because they can’t afford to post bail. How did we get here? “Trapped: Cash Bail in America” shines a light on our deeply flawed criminal justice system and the activists working to reform it.
BookTube – (Premieres October 22)
The monthly learning series featuring the world’s most renowned authors is back with a special October episode spotlighting #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jason Reynolds (“Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You”). This special episode will feature dynamic videos from popular BookTube and YouTube creators.
The Outsiders – Premieres February 2021
In this 4 part series, Simon Frederick (Black is the New Black, They Gotta Have Us) uses his signature style to explore the voices of the young Black visionaries who to date have been excluded and marginalized by society because of the color of their skin. The writers, artists, performers, athletes, scientists, politicians, entrepreneurs and business leaders who have made it against the odds and are shaping their new cultural reality landscape.
Glad You Asked Season 2 – (Premieres February 2021)
YouTube Originals has greenlit a second season of the Emmy-nominated series, “Glad You Asked” – an ensemble-led exploration of topics driven by our curiosity about the world around us. Using Vox’s signature explainer format, season two will examine incredibly timely questions around racial justice and the impact of systemic racism in our communities and daily lives – from how our zipcodes determine our futures, to race and A.I., education inequity, and food deserts.
Lockdown – (Premiere November 19)
YouTube Originals has ordered an additional 6 episodes of the award-winning scripted Kids & Families series that follows six friends as they work together to solve a mystery in their neighborhood during the social distancing era. Shot entirely via webcam and smartphone, new “Lockdown” episodes will explore timely issues on racial injustice, activism, and life’s frustrations during a pandemic.
Other programming that continues YouTube’s commitment to bringing exceptional entertainment, learning, and timely content during these difficult times include:
“Defying Gravity: The Untold Story of Women’s Gymnastics,” a documentary series that explores what it takes to be an Elite gymnast, through the voices of its greatest champions.
“Dear Class of 2020,” is a tribute to this year’s graduating class and centered around the timely themes of hope, resilience, and camaraderie,
“David Blaine Ascension,” a special live event.