Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ Celebrate Black History All Year Long with Launch of Initiative 29 and Black History Always
March 29, 2021
Each Streamer to Release New Content Focused on the Black Experience on the 29th of Every Month
In honor of Black History Month this year, Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ all launched unique initiatives to honor Black Stories, including new TV series and film titles, content hubs and collections, and even a virtual concert. Today, the three streamers are announcing an ongoing commitment to amplify Black stories, culture and community beyond just the 28 days of February with Initiative 29 and Black History Always.
Hulu’s Initiative 29 and Black History Always on Disney+ and ESPN+ will expand upon each streamer’s ongoing efforts of diverse storytelling and will serve as a year-round platform specifically for Black storylines, characters and creators. Beginning in March, each of the three Disney streamers will release new content on the 29th of every month for both subscribers and non-subscribers. The content drops will be unique and authentic to each streamer, and together represent a continued commitment to Black storytelling, always.
Initiative 29 will take the form of socially-conscious short-form content that will be six to eight minutes in length and available to view in Hulu’s Black Stories hub, on Hulu’s YouTube Channel and via the Hulu Facebook page. The March short will feature Ría Thompson-Washington, a voting rights activist and organizer who is the democracy manager at the Center for Popular Democracy. Additionally, each month Hulu will add new classic films, nostalgic TV shows and documentaries to the growing library of Black programming featured in the permanent Black Stories Hub. This month’s additions include All of Us, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Malcom X, Brooklyn’s Finest and Farewell Amor.
A Love Letter to Black Women, presented by The Undefeated on ESPN+ as the first Black History Always special, honors and celebrates the Black women who positively impact all of our lives. The 30-minute presentation features a variety of poignant, inspiring stories from ESPN’s Elle Duncan, 23-time tennis Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, softball star AJ Andrews, WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix, artist and writer Vanessa German, musician Jensen McCrae, and more. ESPN feature producer Talaya Wilkins closes the piece with a tribute to women working behind the scenes at ESPN, while The Undefeated’s Jesse Washington, Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson and NBA star Isaiah Thomas also pay tribute to the important Black women in their lives.
Disney+ is also launching their own Black History Always content, and will release new YouTube episodes with the first installment focusing on The Proud Family. As part of Black History Always, Disney+’s “Celebrate Black Stories” collection will be featured on the homepage of the service all year long featuring recent titles like Soul and Black Is King, beloved classics like Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Black Panther, and new stories such as The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
As industry leaders in streaming, Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ believe Black history shouldn’t be contained to one month, much less the shortest month of the year, and through Initiative 29 and Black History Always, the three streamers will continue to amplify Black stories and voices.