Celebrating Black History Month with YouTube
Feb 01, 2022 – minute read
Feb 01, 2022 – minute read
This year for Black History Month we’ll celebrate Black stories, voices and culture that have contributed to creativity and innovation on YouTube and throughout the world.
At the start of the month, we’ll be featuring a redesigned YouTube logo on the homepage from illustrator Sabrena Khadija and animator Monique Wray. Their design shows love for the #YouTubeBlack Voices creators and artists who are shaping and shifting culture by giving them their flowers. The art will direct you to curated content from the new #YouTubeBlack Voices Creator and Music classes.
We’re also launching a series of programmed playlists in the YouTube Music app themed around expressions of the Black experience. Today, we begin with Lifting Voices…Strong, an uplifting selection of songs celebrating strong voices in Black culture and history. Each week, we’ll launch a new themed playlist, all of which will be housed on the Celebrating Black History Shelf on the Home tab of the YouTube Music app through the month of February. We’ll also have a playlist dedicated to members of the #YouTubeBlack Voices Music Class of 2022.
For any YouTube TV subscribers, we’ll have a shelf of films and TV in celebration of Black History Month. And for any parents with little ones, we'll have content celebrating Black Joy, positive representation, culture and history available on the YouTube Kids App.
To start us off, we’ve asked the artists of the Black History Month YouTube logo, Sabrena Khadija and Monique Wray, to share more about what Black History Month means to them, and what advice they have for the future generation of creatives:
I’m always grateful to see the time and care taken to center and uplift Black voices.”
SK: To me, Black History Month is a time to celebrate Black people throughout our history and across the diaspora. Although I know for a lot of us this time of reflection doesn’t start and stop with this month, I’m always grateful to see the time and care taken to center and uplift Black voices.
MW: Celebration of us and our culture. An intentional moment for reflection on the achievements and contributions of Black people by everyone.
SK: I use flowers as a recurring theme in my art, so for this piece, I loved using them to help depict the message of giving Black creatives of all kinds the acknowledgement, credit, and support we deserve for constantly creating and moving the culture. These are those flowers.
SK: The Black creativity on YouTube is a constant source of inspiration for me. I not only love watching and learning from these creatives, I also really value seeing them in spaces where we may not get the most representation. Seeing others who can relate and speak to you in those spaces helps you see yourself there too. It really makes you feel like you can do anything.
MW: The wide variety of knowledge shared by us always inspires me. From Tabitha Brown sharing her vegan recipes (and positive words) to all the Black girls that taught me how to braid my hair during the quarantine, over to the round table discussions unpacking complex topics in our community. I watch a lot of digital art content, but there's so much more that I take in on the platform. I appreciate how Black creatives utilize the space.
Someone along the way may tell you you can't do this, but there are infinite ways to apply your artistic skills and make a living from your craft.”
SK: Follow your spark. Focus on creating things that bring you joy, and others who find that same joy in your spark will soon come. You can do anything you want to do with time, care, practice, and passion. It may not always be easy, but just know that nurturing that spark will always be worth it. We got you and we believe in you!
MW: Don't stop. Someone along the way may tell you you can't do this, but there are infinite ways to apply your artistic skills and make a living from your craft. It is key to find people who will support your dreams.