Celebrated yearly every February, Black History Month honors the cultural heritage of Black Americans. It is also a time to recognize the contributions and successes of the Black community, as well as a time to reflect on the fight for racial justice.
Social media platforms are committed to uplift Black creators and to provide them with the tools they need to make their voices heard. Here we compiled a variety of initiatives that were created by the different platforms to empower creators to leave a mark on their communities.
TikTok is launching live programming to kick off #MakeBlackHistory, a live event that celebrates creators and artists, this includes new effects and playlists. Along with this initiative, they launched a Black TikTok Trailblazers list: a roster of peer-nominated TikTok influencers that are making innovative content on the platform across verticals. Their official announcement described their newest class of Tiktok Black Trailblazers as creators that “are using their platform to educate, entertain, and advocate for the Black community. From a nature-loving forager to a creative mathematician, these creators are defining what it means to be Black.”
For Black-owned businesses on TikTok, the app is launching a Black Business Showcase that exclusively promotes them. This month-long Showcase will be a reimagined experience within the Rewards section of TikTok, which users can find by searching for “Black Businesses” or “Rewards.” This initiative expands on their recent #ShopBlack program, which further strengthens TikTok’s commitment to Black business owners.
Outside of platform events, TikTok is donating $500K to non-profit organizations that provide programs and resources to local Black communities.
Facebook: Celebrating Black History Month
Facebook and Instagram are focusing on storytelling and on the importance of sharing Black voices. Since the platforms have extensive tools for content creation, they have launched multiple initiatives best suited for each of their products.
- Video: Facebook launched “Written By,” a docu series that explores the movements taking place across the two platforms. Throughout the month, the docu series will cover stories that promote conversations about how Black history continues to be written in real-time. Besides “Written By,” users can expect the launch of “Forward: The Future of Black Music,” a new original four-episode miniseries on Facebook Watch. Each episode will feature a music icon highlighting a newcomer they believe to be the future.
- Facebook App: Users can head over to the Lift Black Voices hub to explore content in relation to the past, present and future of Black communities.
- Facebook Groups: “Black Makes A Way” shines the spotlight on members of Facebook Groups who are using their voice to further inclusivity throughout the Black community.
- Facebook Gaming: Facebook allocated $10 million to fund the Black Gaming Creator Program, a path for Black gaming influencers to apply for partnership status and exclusive benefits on the platform.
- Instagram App: The hashtag #ShareBlackStories is designed to support and inspire the Black community on Instagram. Users can find new creative tools in the Instagram Camera and stories throughout February. The platform will also host workshops and other virtual events for Black influencers.
Just like on TikTok, Black businesses are a vital part of the Facebook community. Facebook is continuing their monetary commitment that they made in June when the Black Lives Matter protests broke. On top of that, they launched Facebook Elevate, a learning platform for Black, Latinx and Hispanic businesses. For Black History Month, in particular, Elevate is offering special educational programming under the name “Generation Black.” This program offers digital skills training and disburses 100,000 scholarships to Black learners.
Pinterest: Celebrating Black Excellence
For Black History Month, Pinterest is partnering with social media influencers to offer ways to get inspired by Black culture and to come up with ideas to strengthen allyship within communities. They are also hosting a digital event called Pinterest Creators Presents: Black Gold. Featuring prominent Black creators, the event will circle around the conversation of Black Excellence and owning space in a digital world.
On the Pinterest platform, users and creators can discover inspiring content about Black culture, and history on the Today Tab. They are also promoting products from Black-owned businesses in their February Shopping Spotlight.
YouTube: Black Artists Reimagine The YouTube Logo
YouTube partnered with Leandro Assis, a Brazilian-based artist, to reimagine and redesign the YouTube logo. This new concept aims to honor the voices of Black creativity.
In an interview, Assis said: “What inspired me to create this piece were the Black people around me. The meaning and importance of our hair, the way we dance, the rhythms we create, and the beauty of our different skin tones.”
YouTube also has initiatives planned throughout the month to celebrate Black creativity. To start off, they are championing the work of Black artists and featuring it on their homepage, along with curated content from Black YouTubers that have excelled in their Spotlight and TV spaces – including YouTube Originals and Kids content.
Open Influence’s Diversity and Inclusion Guides for Brands and Marketers
At Open Influence, uplifting diverse voices is one of our core values. This is why we provide our brand partners with insight on how to create inclusive influencer marketing campaigns. Some of our resources include: