PALEY CENTER celebrates BLACK HISTORY month with fresh approach

The Paley Center for Media continues its Black History Month celebration, A Salute to Black Achievements in Television presented by Citi, honoring the incredible legacy and achievements of iconic Black on-screen talent, creatives, and influencers. The Paley Center is proud to have Citi return as the Presenting Sponsor. 

The annual celebration is part of the Paley Center’s long tradition of honoring diversity in media and entertainment. Over the years, the Paley Center has hosted tributes and exhibitions honoring African American and Hispanic achievements in television, the enormous contributions of women, the impact and importance of LGBTQ+ representation in television, among many others.

“The Paley Center for Media is incredibly proud to shine a spotlight on the significant contributions of the Black community from icons, innovators, and leaders through A Salute to Black Achievements in Television presented by Citi,” said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center’s President & CEO. “We look forward to celebrating their impact and increasing awareness about important diversity issues with timely in-depth discussions and historic content. We are thrilled to have Citi return as the Presenting Sponsor, and our thanks to Verizon for their generous support.”

s part of the month-long celebration offerings for families, there will be a special sneak preview screening of a new episode from the upcoming season of Netflix’s Family Reunion, along with family watch party screening guides and fun recipes. The second season of the family comedy, starring Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Emmy-winner Loretta Devine, is in production now and slated to debut later this year. The new episodes will follow the McKellans as they settle into their new lives in the South and even more hilarious antics ensue as they learn to live together under M’Dear’s roof and the family bonding gets real. New episodes will be coming this spring. 

Interactive Experience

At paleycenter.org, visitors will find a comprehensive and thoughtfully curated experience that celebrates some of the most iconic figures and most important milestones in the history of Black achievements in television from the Paley Center’s exclusive archive of events. Archival content that highlights notable anniversaries in 2021, including the 65th anniversary of The Nat King Cole Show, 60th anniversary of Freedom Rides, 50th anniversary of Soul Train, 30th Anniversary of Tupac “2Pac” Shakur’s solo debut 2Pocalypse Now, and the fifth anniversary of the premiere of the critically acclaimed comedy Atlanta will also be celebrated. In addition, the Paley Center’s curated spotlights on paleycenter.org will feature:

Spotlight on 100th Anniversary of The Negro Leagues

The Paley Center for Media will also pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of The Negro Leagues. This spotlight explores the rich legacy and icons of The Negro Leagues and their influence on the evolution of sports, with insightful and engaging factoids, photos, and videos from Major League Baseball legends like Rube Foster, Buck O’Neil, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Oscar Charleston, Cool Papa Bell, Buck Leonard, Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and others. In December 2020 Major League Baseball announced that the records of Negro Leagues players would become included in the game’s official statistical record. This turning point in the history of the Negro Leagues sheds an important light on the achievements of generations of iconic players.

The Paley Center has collaborated with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and will incorporate their insights and share and discuss some of the museum’s rare artifacts during a special virtual tour of the entire Salute to Black Achievements in Television on February 10 for Citi cardmembers and Paley Corporate Members. The tour will be led by special advisors Trey Ellis, Professor Columbia University, screenwriter of The Tuskegee Airmen; Kristal Brent Zook, Professor Hofstra University, author of Color by Fox: The Fox Network and the Revolution in Black Television; Dr. Ray Doswell, Vice President Curatorial for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; and Ron Simon, Head of Curatorial The Paley Center for Media.  

Spotlight on Black Women in Government and Politics on TV

Tens of millions watched on TV when Kamala Harris broke through as the first woman of color to become the United States Vice President, and her success sheds new light on the incredible legacy of Black women at all levels of American politics during the television age. This spotlight will celebrate the bold leadership and important contributions of many prominent and influential Black women who, like Vice President Kamala Harris, have blazed a trail. Whether as pioneering candidates, influential office holders, and government officials, or other highly visible roles, these women have impacted and inspired our nation. 

From early Vice Presidential and Presidential candidates Charlotta Spears Bass, Charlene Mitchell, and Representative Shirley Chisholm to icons such as Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Former UN Ambassador Susan Rice. The accomplishments of the current wave of Black women shaping American politics like Stacey Abrams, Former Representative Mia Love, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Representative Val Demings, and others are also celebrated.  

In addition to elected officials, many of the Black women who have worked as key political strategists, such as Donna Brazile, who was the first Black woman to manage a major party presidential campaign, and Symone Sanders, who served as a senior advisor to the Biden/Harris 2020 Presidential campaign and is now Vice President Kamala Harris’schief spokesperson, are also included. 

Education

In addition, the Paley Center’s education department will provide at-home learning on subjects specific to media and Black achievements in television through zoom classes, weekly newsletters, and downloadable arts and crafts projects. An interactive trivia quiz will be offered to challenge TV lovers with questions about some of the most popular shows, most prominent stars, and most important moments in TV history