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Celebrating Black History: African Americans and the Arts

Date: Feb 21, 2024
Celebrating Black History: African Americans and the Arts

Written by Jessica Wilhoit, Product Design Analyst, Ethnic Technologies

Happy Black History Month, a celebration of African Americans and their contribution to shaping American history. Black History Month originated as a weeklong celebration during the second week in February. This coincides with Abraham Lincoln’s and Frederick Douglass’s birthdays on the 12th and 14th of the month, respectively. The event, started by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), evolved from the first weeklong celebration in 1926 to when Black History Month was recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976. This information and more about the history of this celebration can be found at History.com.

This year Black History Month’s theme is “African Americans and the Arts”. African Americans have contributed a countless amount to the Arts. In the last year alone, history has been made. In May of 2023 both the Renaissance Tour and The Little Mermaid made their debut. Both made large contributions to the world of music and film. The 2024 Emmys was a winning night showcasing the Black community’s impact on television as well.

Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour became the highest grossing tour for a female artist in 2023. She no longer holds that title, but the Renaissance Tour does have dates in 2024. Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour grossed $579 million and gave the U.S. economy a $4.5 billion boost. For additional context, that is a similar amount to what an Olympics can bring into a city. Forbes discusses the economic impact of the Renaissance Tour. Beyoncé also released her Renaissance Tour as a concert film in December of 2023. As of early January, the film has grossed $44.4 million worldwide. Beyoncé became the artist with the most Grammys with thirty-two wins in 2023 with for her Renaissance album.

The Little Mermaid came to theaters on May 26, 2023. The film made $569 million worldwide. Halle Bailey plays Ariel, making her the first Black live-action Disney princess in a Disney film. This is a huge step for Black representation. Halle Bailey’s reactions to young girls seeing her as the Little Mermaid was very moving, as she describes in an article by Today. Tiana was the first animated Black Disney princess starring in the film, The Princess and the Frog, in 2009. Halle Bailey describes how seeing a Black Disney princess was a pivotal moment for her. Halle Bailey continued to shine in 2023 in The Color Purple, released in December of 2023.

Television celebrated Black artists at the 2024 Emmys. Comedy winners Quinta Brunson and Ayo Edebiri were awarded Comedy lead actress and Comedy supporting actress respectively. These wins made history as Brunson and Edebiri are the first two Black actresses to win in the Comedy category at the same Emmys. Continuing with firsts, Trevor Noah won for Outstanding Talk Series. This makes him the first Black person to win in this category. It is important to note that Trevor Noah is from South Africa but has made a lasting impact on American culture with his comedy and work at The Daily Show. These Emmy wins and more are discussed in an article by Shanelle Genai.

Beyoncé, Halle Bailey, Quinta Brunson, Ayo Edebiri, and Trevor Noah have each made history in the last year. There are many more incredible Black pioneers whom we know, and those from the past we are still discovering each year during Black History Month. By using the latest version of E-Tech 2024, you can also discover and celebrate the possible pioneers in your own African American audience.

For more information, contact:

Karen Sinisi

Director of Sales and Marketing

Ethnic Technologies

Phone: (864)419-9508

karens@ethnictechnologies.com

or

Amalia Tsiongas

Director of Research & Product Development

Ethnic Technologies

Phone: (866)333-8324 Ext 103

amalia@ethnictechnologies.com

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