Kicking off Essence Festival weekend, the Black News Channel (BNC) hosted an exclusive, invitation-only launch celebration on July 4, 2019. The celebration featured a women’s empowerment tribute to the former Queens of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club.
The Black News Channel is the nation’s only independent, minority-owned and operated, African American news network “by people of color for people of color,” and will launch on November 15, 2019. The network will serve around 33 million cable and satellite TV households in New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
The network’s chairman is J.C. Watts, Jr., former Oklahoma congressman, celebrated athlete, and broadcast and cable news veteran. “Our network will deliver intelligent programming that informs, educates, inspires and empowers our African American audience. African Americans have been asking for this kind of programming that will give them a voice in the national conversation about issues that matter,” Watts said in a press release.
According to its website, BNC’s goals include:
- Giving voice to an underserved community
- Building bridges to connect the many diverse cultures in our nation
- Facilitating a more informed national conversation about challenges facing our urban communities
- Engaging African American viewers in our nation’s social, economic, and political discussions and debates
- Creating a platform for African American newsmakers and policymakers to reach their constituents
- Showcasing African American achievers creating positive role models for black youth
- Producing educational programming that is culturally relevant to empower African American viewers
- Inspiring African American viewers with uplifting and spiritual messages produced daily
- Preserving a proud African American heritage
- Recruiting and training aspiring African American journalists.