This year's 2023 Black History Month is an interactive virtual experience on the Black Headline News Virtual Event platform
By Black Headline News
Every year, Black History Month is celebrated during the 28 days of February, sometimes 29 on a “leap”; it gives the public a chance to learn more about the contributions Black Americans gave to this country, which in the past went unacknowledged in school history books. Black people also get that time to learn about their own history, besides learning about just slavery, which is always acknowledged in school history books.
Luckily, people are learning more about Black history on their own through many different types of technology outlets: online websites, big-budget Hollywood movies, in-person local events, over-the-air television, local television etc.
However, one newer technology not explored that often is “virtual reality” (VR), being able to use it to interface with learning and entertainment, seamlessly, where the audience interacting doesn’t even notice they may be learning while entertained.
So, what is VR?
A simplified definition of VR technology summarized from the online Oxford dictionary is this: a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person. This can be done using external apparatuses or via computer simulated 3D VR simulations for easy-eye viewing—no equipment needed.
This year, Ann Marie Pro TV (AMPTV), has created a 2023Black History Month Virtual Reality Experience using newly formed, Black press collaborative online TV channel, Black Headline News (BHN) which was launched August 24, 2022. AMPTV is launching the BHN Virtual Event Center starting February 3, 2023, featuring several other online VR events thereafter using the same platform. Online audiences will be able to interact with the VR BHN event center 24/7; they can visit the rooms freely on their own. These online events on the VR BHN platform are free to the public. People will be asked to login with their emails to also be able to engage in the live chat feature. Starting February 3, people can enter the virtual center at the BHN website here.
Along with Black History Month, this year, the platform will highlight key BHN Black press partners, The New Citizens Press, Texas Metro News, Black Iowa News, SPASHO, ONME News, BLENDED TV, and the Black Collab Wealth Channel who are considered the hosts of the several, annual events being held on the BHN Virtual Event Center throughout the 2023 year.
Other media partners who will be featured in the virtual experience include, The Black Media Initiative, BlackTradelines, Rivet 360, Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, Bay Area Review, Westside Story Newspaper, and Ethnic Media Services.
The BHN VR interactive platform will feature five online, consistent VR rooms for all its online event themes throughout the year:
The Financial Wellness Center
This room is dedicated to video programs and free downloads concerning financial literacy tips and tools.
The Inspiration Room
This room is dedicated to featuring inspirational stories nationwide and Black History.
The Town Hall Room
This room is dedicated to featured speakers and experts talking about issues affecting the Black community.
This room is dedicated to featuring the latest headlines from members of the Black press; it also features the livestream BHN channel.
Edutainment and Trivia
This room is dedicated to Black History Month facts and trivia.
The 2023Black History Month Virtual Reality will feature weekly live forums in the VR Town Hall Room; encore episodes will be featured throughout the month on offline PEG access TV channels nationwide.
The 2023Black History Month Virtual Experience kicks off with the first live forum to be featured in the Town Hall Room: The Black Press Experience, moderated by BHN Cohort member publishers, Rina Risper, of The New Citizens Press and Dana James, of Black Iowa News. Their featured guests include Charlene Rhinehart and Kenneth Miles. Black press commentators thereafter include Cheryl Smith of Texas Metro News and Julia Dudley Najieb of ONME News.
Partnering sponsor, the International Truth and Justice Tribunal (ITJT), which is being hosted in person at Emory University from February 23, 2023, will be streaming a live press conference and presentation relative to a much bigger event happening in October regarding the International Belgium - Congo Tribunal. The October 2023 conference will include a film series, webinars, panel discussions/round table discussions, keynote speakers, and more.
Another partnering sponsor, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, intends to inform African-American audiences more about their established organization throughout the upcoming year using the BHN collaborative network of Black press, as well as through the BHN Virtual Event Center various online events. Many African Americans may not be aware of the diverse populations the institution has served and continues to serve. The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. The vision of founder, Danny Thomas, was to ensure that no child would ever be denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.
During the 2023 Black History Month Virtual Experience, people will get a chance to learn more about St. Jude and even donate to the cause.
Finally, another key highlight during the2023 Black History Month Virtual Experience includes AMPTV’s continual partnership with SPASHO to produce The 4th Annual National Black Estheticians’ Week, February 22 thru the 28 (NBEW). The 4th annual NBEW is a free online event with discounts and giveaways sponsored by Sugar Bear.
This year’s 2023 NBEW theme, Ode to the Estheticians, not only honors the luminaries in the skincare health industry, but the public will have a unique opportunity to learn more about their skin from seasoned experts and licensed estheticians, themselves whom they can ask questions live.
The public can watch the NBEW 2023 Black skincare health live forum in the Town Hall Room on the BHN Virtual Center platform, Wednesday, February 22, at 4PM PST/6 CST , and 7 PM EST.
About Black History Month
The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week". This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and that of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates Black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.
Black History Month was first proposed by Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State a year later, from January 2 to February 28, 1970.
Six years later, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month in 1976, during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."
As an online network of channels and a production company, AnnMariePro TV (AMPTV) has over 25+ years experience in mass media, mobile and social media marketing. AMPTV has grown its own media outlet influence, reach, and exposure, displaying the expression of real issues and solutions related to African-Americans and the urban neighborhoods through its 24/7 online television programming, in the process, assisting content producers in sharing their talents and expanding their audience.
AMPTV provides over nine, curated channels of content on the network which feature national news breaks, news shows, movies & documentaries, business, technology, health, comedy and original content.
AMPTV niche online TV programming is broadcasted and watched by diverse audiences through smart TV devices, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, online partner websites, public access TV, and in cars via third-party audio-podcast apps.
About Black Headline News
The Black Headline News Channel is a 24/7 stream to inform viewers of the latest news headlines featured in Black news outlets from across the world. These news headlines include breaking news, elections, sports, world, national and regional news, and special feature reports.
The channel also broadcasts docu-stories, talk radio news shows, and trending syndicate shows.
The channel is managed and distributed by Info Media Distribution, a media production and online distribution company that produces and provides original news content and docuseries from a Black perspective.