TikTok Launching Program For 100 Black Creatives And Artists In Hopes Of Transforming Unique Talents Into Careers
"Without [Black creators], TikTok would not be the vibrant and creative community we aspire to be,” the company said in a statement.
January 13, 2021 at 5:01 pm
According to a statement obtained by Blavity, TikTok for Black Creatives will convene 100 of the best and brightest Black creators and artists for three months to develop their talents and skills in the digital realm. The program will feature town halls with successful Black entrepreneurs and innovators, educational events with company leadership and community-building opportunities.
“TikTok exists to create joy and inspiration, and that is made better because of our diverse community of creators. Our Black creators and artists have touched so many people across the country and around the world. Without them, TikTok would not be the vibrant and creative community we aspire to be,” the release read.TikTok has also partnered with MACRO, a multimedia company founded to economically empower Black people, to create a grant for a selected group of participants that will help fund production equipment fees and programming fees. MACRO’s team will also work with TikTok on speaker selection, programming content and professional development for creators.
"TikTok for Black Creatives was born from our continued commitment to support the Black community on TikTok. We’ve seen Black creators start trends, connect with audiences, and inspire others from across different communities," Kudzi Chikumbu, TikTok U.S. Director Of Creator Community stated. "This program is intended to identify, support, and elevate the next generation of culture-driving Black creators and artists by giving them the often-hidden tools and opportunities that can help them transform their creativity into successful careers. Because at the end of the day, Black culture is culture, and culture starts on TikTok."
In May, Lex Scott, the founder of Black Lives Matter Utah, created the #ImBlackMovement in protest of the censorship of Black creators using the platform, as Blavity previously reported. The blackout was held on May 19, the same day as Malcolm X’s birthday, and participating social media users changed their profile pictures to a raised Black fist. Black TikTok users complained that their videos were being taken down from the app while white users were often given credit for the content of creators of color.
"I did this because Black creators are being silenced on TikTok and other social media platforms and I am fed up. Our videos are taken down and our accounts are banned when we speak against racism," Scott said.
On the program website, TikTok says that it has heard criticism from the Black community and declared that “Black TikTok drives culture.”
Through the program, the social media company hopes to help nurture the next generation of culture-shifters who feel empowered to turn their creativity into careers.“The impact Black creators have made on TikTok is undeniable and we're committed to continuing to elevate and amplify their voices. We believe that Black creators on TikTok have been a driving force for the growth of our community, from starting trends to fostering connection, and introducing new dimensions of social entertainment,” the statement read.
For more information on how you can apply for the program, click here.