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Black Public Media Urges African American’s to ‘BE HEARD!’

An animated graphic of Big Freedia and Roxane Gay’s conversation on ‘Policing’ in the BE HEARD digital short series.

Black Public Media (BPM) has launched “BE HEARD!”, a social media campaign engaging the African American community around key issues surrounding the November 3 election. The Harlem-based nonprofit dedicated to media content about the global Black experience, commissioned Color Farm Media to create a series of shorts featuring influencers — including actors Erika Alexander and Gabourey Sidibe and musician Big Freedia — discussing the importance of voting from the top of the ticket on down. The campaign will run on various social media platforms through November 3.

Aiming to bring information to citizens of all ages and political persuasions, BE HEARD! consists of four video shorts of one minute or less, each featuring a pair of Black social influencers discussing election issues. Alexander and comedian Brian Babylon; political commentators Jehmu Greene and Shermichael Singleton; Big Freedia and writer Roxane Gay; and Sidibe and Ohio State Senator Nina Turner banter on the videos: Why Vote?, Listening, Reparations and Policing. Viewers can get in on the conversations and learn more about the initiative by following the hashtag #VoteBHeard and by visiting beheard.blackpublicmedia.org.

Excerpts from the shorts will be shared via Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, and will steer traffic to the campaign webpage where viewers can watch the full-length shorts and access voting resources on topics like how to vote by mail, how to confirm one’s polling place, how to deal with voter suppression, and how to volunteer during the election. A short clip from the BE HEARD! campaign will be shown Tuesday at the Urbanworld Film Festival kickoff event during a screening of Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes’ documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy featuring Stacey Abrams, about the history of voter suppression in America.

Animated still of Brian Babylon and Erika Alexander in conversation for BE HEARD! from Black Public Media.

“The ballot box is where we get to choose who makes decisions about our health, employment, environment, race relations — all critical issues that will impact us for generations,” said BPM Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz. “Having seen the power of Black voters in recent local, state and national elections, BPM launched this initiative to remind Black voters of their power, fuel civil discourse and counter voter suppression. In 2020, silence is one option we just can’t afford.”

BE HEARD! is a follow-up to Color Farm Media’s acclaimed documentary Good Trouble, on the incredible life journey of civil rights icon and voting rights advocate John Lewis. Color Farm’s founders Erika Alexander and Ben Arnon collaborated on the series with award-winning filmmaker Whitney Dow, with whom they are also producing a series of projects about reparations.

“Black Public Media has supported the diverse voices of our community for more than four decades and it was an honor to work with them on this important project,” said Alexander.

To find out more about BPM, visit www.blackpublicmedia.org. Follow Black Public Media at @blackpublicmedia on Instagram and Facebook and @BLKPublicMedia on Twitter.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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