Over a year ago, YouTube faced tremendous backlash for its lack of diversity and failure to promote the black creator community on the platform. In response, the #YouTubeBlack initiative was devised at a YouTube summit last year in an effort to celebrate and mentor black YouTubers.
This week, YouTube partnered with Howard University to launch #YouTubeBlack FanFest during their 150th Homecoming celebration. The inaugural YouTube FanFest debuted in Singapore four years ago, #YouTubeBlack FanFest was the first event of its kind stateside.
The event gave fans an opportunity to get up close and personal with their favorite YouTube stars at the meet and greet before the show.
TPindell (2M+ subscribers), a seasoned YouTuber known for his sketch comedy videos hosted the event. The show featured an array of performances by YouTube stars who have over 15 million subscribers combined. The line up included a comedic act from Dormtainment (1.1M+ subscribers), a heart-wrenching performance by Tré Melvin (3.2M+ subscribers), soul-stirring vocals of RandomStructureTV (1.5M+ subscribers) and Summerella (579K+ subscribers), poetry by Spoken Reasons (1.9M+ subscribers) and a variety of others. Breakout R&B star Daniel Caesar closed the show with his rhythmic performance and live band.
YouTube streamed the event live for those that could not attend in person. The excitement of Howard’s Homecoming energized the performers and the crowd alike. The unconfirmed threats of an active shooter earlier in the day led to increased security, but the event went off without a hitch. All in all, it was an excellent showcase for black content creators and a great kickoff to Howard University's Homecoming.