America’s history has been profoundly marked by the contributions of Black changemakers. But too often Black Americans who have broken barriers, taken steps to advance equity, or achieved great success in their fields are not properly recognized. The series “Black History in Two Minutes” which is executive produced by Robert F. Smith, aims to change that. Smith helped create “Black History in Two Minutes” in 2019 to help “preserve the African American experience and democratize online learning sources,” according to the website.
The series, which launched in 2019, tells the stories of significant moments and leaders in Black history in America — from Sojourner Truth to John Lewis. One episode focuses on the history of Jazz in America, and the contributions of Black artists to the genre’s rise in popularity, another focuses on “Soul Train” and the impact the television show had on American pop culture. These episodes are telling stories that need to be heard.
The lack of visibility of Black success has consequences that are far-reaching. Scientific data as well as Smith’s personal experiences show that Black students are often undervalued in school, and are more likely to be disciplined. Without the contributions of Black Americans, America as we know it would not exist today, and it’s important that we showcase that connection.
Earlier this year, “Black History in Two Minutes” won two Webby Awards, and Smith accepted the awards on behalf of Be Woke Presents. His acceptance speech consisted of one sentence with just five words: “Lift every voice and sing” — which is the title of the poem and the song that has come to be known as the Black National Anthem.
To watch more episodes of “Black History in Two Minutes,” visit their website.