This Monday students and some businesses had a day off from school or work to celebrate the changes Martin Luther King, Jr., and others, made to the American civil rights movement to create racial equality. MTV decided to recognize the holiday by taking a day off from colored television. On Monday, MTV broadcasted all programs in black and white, and featured celebrities, as well as public officials, sharing personal stories or struggles they have faced.
How does taking the color out of programs do anything? The goal of the black and white screen is to get people talking about race, how we’ve grown, and how much more we have to grow as a nation. This is all part of MTV’s “#TheTalk” initiative. Not to be confused with the awkward “other” talk that your parents give you in middle school. But one that allows for kids to ask their parents questions about race or discuss with friends something they saw in the news.
The day was filled with celebrity interviews with Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, Jordin Sparks, and more. It also featured conversations with public officials like, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Cory Booker, and Congressman John Lewis who talks about his friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr. Viewers could share their opinions of these stories and their own personal experiences by tweeting or instagramming using the hashtag, #TheTalk.
This is all part of the bigger campaign, “Look Different”, which strives to educate people about hidden bias and how they can make a change. Lookdifferent.org is the website for the cause and features informational articles, blogs, videos, and activites to teach visitors about different biases and issues.
MTV is back in color, but #TheTalk continues. What will you contribute?
-Kelli Hall, Mallory Brayman, Morgan McCleaf