Donald Trump has promised more death, disenfranchisement, and deportations—and we believe him. The violence he will inflict, and the permission he gives others to commit violence is just beginning to emerge. We have already seen an uptick in racial slurs indulged in public places and the murdering of Black people in the name of white supremacy, and an onslaught of prejudicial policies revealed in the first hundred days of this administration. We know that, under Trump, people will die because of prejudicial practices, and we have a moral and ethical mandate to do all we can to mitigate those deaths through media interventions that include narrative and political power building.
Mainstream media lacks real pathways to humanely and civilly engage with Blackness and Black people. Pundits and talking heads on prime-time TV who discuss the experiences of Black people are dissociated from the organizers and activists who disrupt prejudicial “business as usual” on the ground in their communities.
The experiences of Black people in America are currently front and center. We must take an aggressive approach to capitalize on this moment and build both narrative and political power. The Channel Black initiative provides a platform on which to do that. We can center the experiences and analyses of Black people, specifically Black women and Black trans women who live at the intersections of anti-Black violence and solutions-oriented community healing.
Channel Black trainers have developed a nimble training program that will grow the strategy, intervention, and spokesperson skills of Black organizers in the fight for social justice in order to help people understand and celebrate Blackness and draw attention to the plight of Black communities in America. As the conversation on race and racism in America continues to evolve, we will bridge the empathy gap, have courageous conversations, and ensure that democracy includes all Americans, not just a select few.
We must engage in radical truth-telling about Black people by Black people. Channel Black trainees subvert traditional ideals regarding professionalism and who is and is not considered an expert. Our movement leaders are wholly representative of the Black population, including people from the South, trans and gender-nonconforming (GNC) people, women, and those who are masculine of center.