Over the past three years, we've all undergone transformation, challenging our beliefs, boundaries, and priorities. You Had Me at Black has been no exception. During this time, our organization's purpose has evolved. We started out advocating for representation, but our journey led us to explore how we can serve personal and collective liberation. Along the way, we set a new standard for Black storytelling. In 2023, it feels fresh and urgent because it prioritizes care, nuance, authenticity, honesty, and expansiveness.
Today, I’m excited to share our new website - not only because it looks dope AF - but because it’s a culmination of the last 7 years, and an introduction to the next phase of our work.
But before we talk about the future, let’s talk about the past a little bit.
We launched in 2016 as an indie podcast with the mission to reclaim the Black narrative and inspire people to embrace their own stories. I didn’t realize at the time just how groundbreaking our format and concept were to both industry and audiences. The award-winning series innovated the art of oral tradition for a whole generation, pioneered a fresh format for the podcast industry, and established a unique storytelling framework that would become our bread and butter.
In 2020, we started to partner with other studios - like The Woodshaw, 1504 and Gumbo Media - and apply our framework and lens to new projects. Since then, we’ve consulted, edited or produced for media giants like Spotify, American Public Media and NPR; networks like Lemonada and Dear Media; museums like the NW African American Museum; nonprofits like Black Ambition and fiscally sponsored projects like Beyond Our City and The Visioners for Abortion Freedom. These collaborations birthed work that transform audiences, like the award-winning docuseries NATAL, and WHOLE, one of my proudest projects. In each project, our framework ensured the centering, protecting, and affirming of Black life, regardless of the topic, subject, or target audience. Going back to our evolved purpose - it’s not just that we are represented, but how.
In 2023 and beyond, we’re excited to expand who we partner with as we continue building our creative services business. Film and audio studios, museums, non-profits, collectives, fiscally sponsored projects and more are now, more than ever, invited to send us proposals. Collaborations will be accepted on a rolling basis.
And for those missing the days of our Kickbacks, original podcast and community work, look forward to an exciting announcement on that front soon.
Founder + CEO