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Nigerian afrobeats star Fireboy DML, South African singer; Sho Madjozi, Kenyan afro-pop band; Sauti Sol are among the artists and creators receiving support from YouTube black voices class of 2021, an initiative to invest in fresh narratives on the video platform “that emphasize the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity, and joy of Black voices.”
The class of 2021 was announced on Tuesday, and is made up creators and artists from the U.S., U.K., Kenya, Brazil, Australia, South Africa and Nigeria and includes musicians, beauty entrepreneurs, comedians, activists, poets, personal trainers, teachers and photographers.
Black creators and artists have played an important role in shaping the culture on YouTube. From fashion and comedy to politics, learning and wellness, and with innovations and contributions in every genre of music, Black creators and artists have propelled our platform forward. The #YouTubeBlack community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate, and driven creatives, and we’re honored to equip these awesome creators and artists with additional resources to match their drive.
According to the company, the winners were chosen from those who had participated in YouTube Black events in the past and then evaluated based on channel performance and engagement metrics. YouTube has said that it will open the application process to a broader range of creators over the next few months.
The company will offer seed funding for channel development, support, workshops and training and a networking program to support creators. It plans on extending this program to more than 500 creators globally through 2023.
In June 2020, YouTube announced the $100 million YouTube Black Voices Fund which will benefit the program. The company said of the program, that it is“part of the comprehensive work currently underway to make YouTube a place where Black artists, creators and users can share their stories and be protected.”
Introducing the Creator Class of 2021
Introducing the Artist Class of 2021