Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with media and content company Mass Appeal to present a campaign for Black History Month called “Anthem Film.”
The series of videos premiered throughout the month of February, and were narrated by prominent voices in the Black community, such as actor Yara Shahidi, activist Angela Rye and rapper Nas.
Each narrator pays homage to a topic close to them in the larger tapestry of Black culture and history. Nas, a Grammy-winning rapper for example, paid homage to musicians and storytellers in the space from Louis Armstrong to his own father, blues/jazz musician Olu Dara, who influenced his art. His video was inspired by the “Giants of Jazz” exhibit on the Google Arts & Culture page.
Shahidi, an actress on ABC family comedy Black-ish and its spinoff Grown-ish on sister channel Freeform, dedicated hers to the iconic black women of days past such as astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, writer Audre Lorde and Coretta Scott King. Angela Rye, an activist and frequent political commentator, paid homage to her father (who named her after Angela Davis of the Black Panther movement) as well as the long line of black activists who have helped break racial barriers.
On the series, Jon Colclough, Mass Appeal's director of brand partnerships and strategy, said: "Google Arts and Culture have done an amazing job at providing ready access to this historical content. Our goal was to build a prideful awareness while encouraging the viewer to go and do their own exploration to see what moments and figures have had an impact on their life. We wanted to bring to light the rich history of Black America through the context of current cultural thought leaders. Nas, Yara, and Angela each have their finger not only on the pulse of popular culture, but also Black consciousness, and it's current place in society."