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The importance of understanding the nuances of Black representation in media

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The importance of understanding the nuances of Black representation in media


In the most recent TV season, Black talent was above parity—but for Black audiences, parity is not enough. In the era of personalization, so are the nuances. 2020 Census data shows an 89% increase of people who identified as “Black in combination with another race,” and that 16% of Black people speak another language other than English at home. Yet media still has to catch up. 58% of Black audiences say there’s still not enough representation of their identity group on screen. 

In the video below, Charlene Polite Corley, Vice President of Diverse Insights and Partnerships at Nielsen, spoke to Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay, Chief Executive Officer of MediaCo Holding, which owns Hot 97, WBLS and Fairway Outdoor about how the platforms he leads are taking a deep look within—from the leadership to producers, writers and creators—to make sure that Black audiences feel seen and heard. 

Watch the video to learn:

  • The importance of giving content creators enough creative and artistic freedom and encouraging them to push the envelope to express culture more expansively and also show more intersectional characters such as Afro Latinos or the Black diaspora 
  • Radio reaches over 90% of Black listeners every week showing the importance of this platform for Black people. Lindsay discussed how radio provides the opportunity for two-way conversation inside the community but also shares the voices of the Black Community on a broadcast platform that reaches other demographics influenced by Black culture. 
  • In his role as a leader in the audio world, Lindsay is also advocating for the need to be more inclusive of women. In an industry that is dominated by men, he discussed the need to remove the barriers that have historically excluded women. He expressed the need to open up new ways for women artists to be heard, for their music to be discovered, and build platforms where they can exist on their own merit — without being compared to men.



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