MTV airs in black and white Monday to honor MLK Day

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Common Discusses Race Relations with MTV for Martin Luther King Day (VIDEO).

MTV is inviting viewers to start a new conversation about race and bias by removing color from its broadcast for 12 hours on Martin Luther King Jr Day, the US federal holiday commemorating his life.”The device of turning us black and white is going to be really— visually— a jolt to say, you know what, there are differences and if we are going to ever get to a freer, more equal society the best thing we can begin to do is talk about them,” MTV President Stephen Friedman said.

As part of the campaign, MTV is airing videos on Monday in which prominent artists, activists and politicians describe how conversations about race have played out in their lives. Throughout the day, every commercial block will begin with personal reflections on race from familiar faces including Selma director Ava DuVernay, the film’s star David Oyelowo, rappers Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean, singer Jordin Sparks, rocker Pete Wentz, Sen. King’s legacy by using their massive platform to address — and help resolve — racial issues in America. #TheTalk is a strong effort attempting to eliminate bias by inviting and encouraging others, especially millennials, to join the discussion and have candid and ‘color brave’ conversations on race. The initiative is packaged with the taglines “Let’s move from color blind to color brave”, “MLK is now”, and “Today we need to use our voices.

The broadcast event is the latest initiative to come out of MTV’s Look Different anti-bias campaign, which promotes dialogue about race, gender and sexuality. It’s time to have the talk about race.” “Millennials believe strongly in fairness, but they can also find it difficult to talk openly about race – to be not simply ‘color blind’ but ‘color brave’,” said Stephen Friedman, president of MTV, in a statement. “Our audience is looking for a way to bring the national conversation on race into their homes, and this campaign will give them a forum to express true color bravery.” Appearing in the testimonial videos are the recording artists Common, Kendrick Lamar, Ashanti and Rick Ross, among others. The campaign partnered with NAACP and other civil rights groups last summer to create commercials after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Cory Booker and more. “America and race relations – we have to acknowledge it,” Common says in the video. “I think everybody overall wants the same results and that’s a better place, a place where everybody can just connect and not worry about like what color this person is or what their religion is.” “MLK today means hope. … He means love,” Common continues. “He means a human being that has shown us that we can not only be heroes but that we are people an we can do great things.” The project also aired a special segment called Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word, in which the Orange Is the New Black actress took viewers inside the lives of transgender youth. Lewis, one of the student leaders working with King, suffered a skull fracture when Alabama state troopers, sheriff deputies and possemen wielding bullwhips, clubs and tear gas advanced on the marchers on the outskirts of Selma. “We thought what better day than MLK Day to really use, not only the history and the power of what Dr. King said with the “I Have a Dream” speech, but hear it from artists, political leaders and the audience to really spark a national conversation,” Friedman said.

When someone says to me, ‘I’m color blind, I don’t see color,’ I’m thinking, ‘You’re missing out on a lot of beautiful colors.’” Fourteen activist organizations are partnering with MTV in the effort, including the NAACP, Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Partnership for Women and Families. According to the research, many millenials were raised to believe they should treat everyone the same, and not acknowledge racial differences and other cultural distinctions.

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