2023 Digital Video Storytelling, Series, Small/Medium Newsroom finalist

The Emancipator Video Commentary Series

About the Project

We launched our Video Commentary Series to help explain, accelerate and cultivate a deeper understanding of issues tied to racial equity. These compelling monologues weave current events with historical context to help viewers grasp the totality of the most pressing racial justice issues of our time.

The following showcases some of our work in this series during the past year:

Talking to Your Kids About Race
What are we saying to our kids about race even when we don’t say anything at all? Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research, explains how it is a false choice whether or not to teach your child about race because either way, they’re picking up on your attitude about race. Kids notice when their parent only has White friends, or when their teacher treats certain students differently. Kendi says to raise antiracist children, parents must lead by example and teach their kids that racial disparities exist because of bad systems, not bad people.

Lincoln Didn’t Free The Enslaved. They Freed Themselves.
Time and time again, Lincoln is touted by his most well-known monikers, “The Great Emancipator” or “Savior of the Union.” His entire presidential legacy is often summarized in an easy one liner: “Lincoln freed the slaves.” But for decades historians have argued for the agency of Black Americans in securing their own liberation during the Civil War. Kellie Carter Jackson, an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Wellesley College, explains.

Letter to My White Sons
The Talk traditionally refers to the universal discussion among Black families where parents convey a different set of behavioral rules and expectations to their children to keep them safe — and alive. The Emancipator explores what that conversation looks like along the lines of ethnicity, ability, sexuality, immigration status, and gender in our #TheTalk series. Here, writer and activist Joanna Schroeder kicked off the series with her video commentary, “Letter to My White Sons,” which exposes the dangers of growing recruitment efforts by hate groups on social media.

Racism: A Public Health Crisis
Racist communities are unhealthy communities. A recent study links higher racial bias in a community with more deaths from heart disease, not only in groups targeted by racial bias, Black people, but also in the White people harboring it. Dr. Monica Wang explains that one potential reason for this is racism acts as pollution – harming its targets most and weakening social bonds and cohesion throughout a community. We need social connection; without it, everyone’s health suffers.

The New Crusades
Scholar and author Jemar Tisby issues a clarion call for the midterms and beyond: White Christian nationalism leads to authoritarianism, voter suppression, and even violence to meet political ends. For people who approach politics through the lens of faith, the Black Christian tradition shows another path that leans toward justice and civil rights for all. With faith on the ballot, The Emancipator explores The New Crusades.