YouTube greenlights more ‘Retro Tech,’ ‘Recipe for Change’ in new Black Voices slate

By 05/16/2022
YouTube greenlights more ‘Retro Tech,’ ‘Recipe for Change’ in new Black Voices slate

Ahead of YouTube’s annual Brandcast presentation tomorrow night (for the first time taking place at the TV Upfronts rather than the digital NewFronts), the platform has announced a fresh slate of original projects from its Black Voices Fund.

YouTube shuttered most of its original content efforts in January 2021, but said it would continue making productions funded by the Black Voices Fund and the YouTube Kids Fund. Both funds were established in 2020, and both have $100 million to deploy to relevant creators and projects.

The new slate is headlined by roundtable discussion Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women, which follows previous installments Recipe for Change: Stop Asian Hate and Recipe for Change: Standing Up to Antisemitism.

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The new episode will feature hosts Mary J. Blige, Saweetie, and Tabitha Brown with chefs Kelis and Danielle Saunders and dinner guests including Chlöe Bailey, Winnie Harlow, Kelly Rowland, Jackie Aina, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Roxane Gay, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Lynn Whitfield, Yaya DaCosta, Loni Love, Renee Montgomery, Danielle Young, Angelica Ross, Hallease, and Elaine Welteroth. Reporter Amanda Seales will have segments interviewing “Black women and their allies” on the streets of Los Angeles, YouTube says.

YouTube adds that this installment with center “the powerful stories and experiences of Black women, celebrating their perseverance and strength while making space for joy and the power of sisterhood.”

Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women premieres May 19 on the Jubilee YouTube channel.

“Today’s announcement continues YouTube’s long-standing commitment to celebrating diverse perspectives on its platform,“ Nadine Zylstra, global head of YouTube Originals, said in a statement. “Our upcoming projects highlight important stories and raise impactful voices to not only educate and entertain our audiences, but to also inspire meaningful change.”

Also on the docket is another installment of YouTuber Marques Brownlee’s Retro Tech, scheduled for a December 2022 release, plus a Nelson Mandela documentary dropping on Mandela Day, July 18.

You can read full descriptions from YouTube of all greenlit projects below.

  • “Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women”–Premieres Thursday, May 19 on Jason Y. Lee’s Jubilee YouTube Channel
    Following the success of the Daytime Emmy Nominated “Recipe for Change: Stop Asian Hate,” and the recently released second installment “Recipe for Change: Standing Up To Antisemitism,” “Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women” continues with the latest special centering on the powerful stories and experiences of Black women, celebrating their perseverance and strength while making space for joy and the power of sisterhood. Hosts Mary J. Blige, Saweetie and Tabitha Brown partner with esteemed chefs Kelis and Danielle Saunders to host dinner guests including Chlöe Bailey, Winnie Harlow, Kelly Rowland, Jackie Aina, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Roxane Gay, Sarah Jakes Roberts, Lynn Whitfield, Yaya DaCosta, Loni Love, Renee Montgomery, Danielle Young, Angelica Ross, Hallease and Elaine Welteroth. Amanda Seales also joins the special episode as an on-the-street reporter, speaking with Black women and their allies in Los Angeles. “Recipe For Change: Amplifying Black Women” is executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter with their media conglomerate The SpringHill Company. Showrunner Joel Relampagos also executive produces “Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women” alongside Jamal Henderson and Philip Byron of The SpringHill Company. Co-executive producers include Camille Maratchi and Courtney Whitaker also of The SpringHill Company with Nefertiti Lovelace, and directed by Joie Jacoby.
  • “A New Green Book”–Premieres Thursday, May 26, 2022
    A transformative original series that follows the incredible journey of Black visionaries on relentless pursuits of mastery, “A New Green Book” is a timely, engaging travel series that serves as an homage to the original Green Book — the once Black Travelers’ Guide that provided advice on safe places to eat and sleep when journeying through the Jim Crow-era U.S. “A New Green Book” celebrates Black culture across the country, where each host curates a highly personal itinerary in a city that they love. For the pilot special, Terrell Grice, of The Terrell Show, takes viewers on a special tour of Los Angeles to eat, explore, and experience locations that celebrate Black culture, history, beauty, cuisine, fashion, and art. Produced by Tastemade.
  • “The Mandela Project” (working title)–Premieres Mandela Day–July 18, 2022
    Each year on July 18th, the Nelson Mandela Foundation strives to make the world aware of the legacy and learnings of Nelson Mandela, encouraging people across the world to give back to their own communities. The series joins Jabari Banks, Marsai Martin, Jeremy Lynch, Ndaba Mandela, Big Zuu, Patrice Evra, and Zozibini Tunzi as they undertake impactful acts of service in the UK, USA, and South Africa. Inspired and motivated by key elements of Nelson Mandela’s life and work, “The Mandela Project” will showcase his lasting legacy in communities around the globe. Produced in Africa by VIS, Paramount’s international studio, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
  • “Spectrum Global: Being Black In…”–Pilot in development for Fall 2022
    YouTube and Jubilee Media are partnering to reimagine their popular video series Spectrum into a global special. “Spectrum Global” takes viewers on a journey to explore Blackness across the globe to expand the conversation and share a more inclusive and expansive vision of humanity. Spectrum explores the variety of beliefs in one group through conversations to help deconstruct the myth that any one identity or group thinks and acts as a monolith. Shot in various locations, the special brings together 6-8 Black men and women who live in different parts of the world to engage in a discussion and take the viewer on an immersive experience sharing what life is like, where they often find themselves being a very small minority.
  • “Retro Tech: Future Tech with Marques Brownlee” (working title)–Premieres December 2022
    Continuing with his Emmy-nominated series “Retro Tech,” season three has Marques Brownlee exploring the technology of the future. Web 3.0 makes big promises to place the power of the internet in the hands of the user, yet the technology that powers Web 3.0—from blockchain to cryptocurrency to DAOs—sometimes feels vague, confusing, and exclusionary. Will the latest iteration of the internet help or is this simply becoming a playground for people who are already rich, tech-savvy, and well-connected? Will the promise of NFTs and DAOs help boost entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities? Could cryptocurrency help close the racial wealth gap? Marques will go beyond traditional storytelling in this next season to bring this world to life by creating Web 3.0 communities and projects like NFTs to build a first of its kind next generation community around FutureTech. Retro Tech is produced by Vox Media Studios.

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