Credit: courtesy: HuffPost UK

HuffPost UK launched a new video series to elevate black voices in key conversations about Britain.

The show, Black Voices, is an all-black panel discussion about race and societal change, addressing issues like on-screen diversity, diversity of expert sources and topics relevant to diverse audiences.

It is hosted by Yinka Bokinni, also known for her work as a presenter for Capital XTRA radio station and 4Music television channel. She is also the founder of online magazine Sistem.

In an email to Journalism.co.uk, Bokinni wrote that when black people are not included in conversations about issues that are affecting them, especially on TV where it is more apparent, it can do more harm than good.

"For me personally, being part of the topic of discussion but not invited into the conversation is something that is exhausting to see and can make black people feel 'othered'," she says.

"To tell the British story you need to involve different types of people, all different types and not doing so does a disservice to your audience."

The first episode of the show focused on inclusivity within the school curriculum and the issues of an education system that does not represent everyone's history.

Bokinni was joined by singer and songwriter Jamelia, CBBC presenter Rhys Stephenson and Black Curriculum CEO, Lavinya Stennett. Future episodes will explore parenting, feminism, education, and health.

The presenter added that speaking to black people and discussing topics from their perspective begins to normalise a rounder and more representative discussion of issues and talking points we all face.

"As it stands, currently on popular news programs, we aren't represented in a way that is conducive to real conversation," Bokinni says.

"I am tired of seeing black people forced to defend things that happen to us, to debate our experiences in places that just aren't welcome to hearing our truths. Whilst Black Voices UK does focus on the black perspective, I want to normalise conversation being had amongst black people publicly."

Harry Slater, acting editor-in-chief, HuffPost UK said in the press release: "HuffPost UK is committed to telling the stories of real people and elevating voices that are so often omitted from mainstream media.

"Our new video series Black Voices will provide a high quality and authentic platform for important conversations about the issues that black people are living through at such a critical time in history. Through amplifying diverse voices, HuffPost UK hopes to create change within the media industry, and reflect real people, their feelings and experiences."

Launched with RYOT Studios EMEA and Verizon Media, the show will consist of six episodes, published once every two-to-four weeks until the end of 2020.

The announcement follows on from HuffPost US’ Black Voices series, and its collaboration with online publication Black Ballad as guest editors of the HuffPost UK website, to feature its parenting and family life series created and written by black women.

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