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Thursday, September 14, 2017

kweliTV Officially Launches; Founder DeShuna Spencer Explains Why Authentic Media Representation Matters Now

Deshuna Spencer, founder of kweliTV

Deshuna Spencer, founder of kweliTV

Nationwide — kweliTV (www.kweli.tv), a video streaming platform that curates independent content of the global black community, has officially launched out of beta. Today’s announcement comes with the unveiling of a fully updated website, new film releases, viewer contests, original short-form programming, as well as the launch of kweliTV apps.

kweliTV shares the African Diaspora experience through undiscovered documentaries, films, web shows, children’s programming, news and more. Kweli means truth in Swahili so the mission is to curate content that is a true reflection of the black experience. Content on the platform comes from North America, Europe, Latin America, The Caribbean and Africa. Ninety-eight percent of films have been official selections at film festivals and more than 65% are award-winning. kweliTV is also providing a space for indie filmmakers of color across the globe to showcase their content once they have finished their film festival run. The 100% black-owned streaming service currently works with more than 110 filmmakers across the globe, half of which are women.

kweliTV currently has nearly 200 titles on the platform that equals to more than 7,000 viewing hours and will be adding five new titles on the platform every Wednesday. More than 50 new titles will be added between September and Christmas.

Here’s a sample of some anticipated releases in the coming months:

The Thorn Of The Rose (O Espinho Da Rosa) – Portugal; Black and Cuba – Cuba; Vivre – Barbados; Last Night – USA; The Flying Stars – Sierra Leone ; Catface – London; O-Town – Nigeria; Accra Power – Ghana; Out of Darkness – USA.; and many more. Award-winning films currently on kweliTV include: La Source – Haiti; Beat The Drum – South Africa; Wolf – USA; OJUJU – Nigeria; Kwaku Ananse – Ghana; Closer – USA; and many more.

In addition to award-winning films and documentaries, the platform will be releasing four “kweliOriginals” in Fall 2017:

* #WokeWebSeries: The live, weekly 30-minute show will give an on the ground report on news affecting black people around the world – from police brutality incidents, new legislation, protests, policies, petitions, etc. The one issue, solution-based show will be hosted by activist journalists, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, a diversity coach and media commentator, and Janaye Ingram, an activist and lead organizer of the Women’s March on Washington. Dr. Jones-DeWeever and Ingram will tackle issues affecting black lives by interviewing community organizers and leaders across the globe.

* 60-seconds of Comedy: Enter the lives of the world’s up and coming comedians of African descent giving you 60 seconds of pure vlog hilarity. Can a comedian make you laugh in just 60 seconds?

* #BlackRundown: A fast-paced, daily countdown show that will highlight the top five most important news stories impacting the entire African diaspora.

* Meet the Filmmaker: A one-on-one interview with upcoming and prolific independent filmmakers of color across the globe.


Other launch features include: Roku and Apple TV apps for subscribers as well as integration with Chromecast and Apple Airplay; a Live TV stream of some of kweliTV’s best shows and award-winning films for free on the platform; Member discounts and perks to black-owned businesses’ goods and services; Weekly subscriber contests; and more!

For kweliTV Founder/CEO DeShuna Spencer, the official launch means offering authentic storytelling from a black perspective because media representation matters. Research shows that negative perceptions of black people create a perfect storm for implicit bias.

According to Project Implicit, 88 percent of white Americans have some form of implicit racial bias against black people. And some 48 percent of black Americans harbor some form of implicit racial bias against black people (Harvard Implicit-Association Test). Negative mass media portrayals are strongly linked mass incarceration, hiring practices and discriminatory housing practices, lower life expectations among young black men and more.

“Through kweliTV, I’m on a mission to change the way people of African descent are portrayed in mainstream media,” Spencer said. “When you have people who like me are overwhelmingly absent from leadership roles in newsrooms and film studios, you end up with scenarios in which Black women being three times more likely to be viewed sexually on the screen or a major news network allowing a former law enforcement officer to say that black people are naturally ‘prone to criminality’ and go on unchecked by the journalist. That’s why media perception and authentic representation matter. It is critical that as a community we control our own narratives through media ownership.”

kweliTV plans: Subscriptions – $49.99 a year or $5.99 a month; Rental – $3.99 per 24-hour; Live TV – Free. Student discounts are also available. Subscriptions include a 7-day free trial.

Learn more at www.kweli.tv


Media inquiries: media@kweli.tv
Business inquires: hello@kweli.tv