October marks Black History Month, an annual commemoration of the history, achievements, and contributions of Black communities in the UK.
Once again this year we are delighted to be celebrating Black history, culture and heritage with a host of activities available to Amazon customers and employees alike.
Led by Amazon’s Black Employee Network (BEN), this year’s theme for Black History Month is ‘The Joy of our Voices’.
Tonie Odeniyi, BEN co-chair and Head of VMware Cloud for AWS Public Sector, EMEA, explains: “Black people globally have always found joy during challenges that continue to shape culture. Throughout Black History Month, we’ll celebrate Black artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators who have found opportunity during challenges, innovated when faced with adversity, and created barrier-breaking economic impact with the joy of their voice.”
From Alexa to Amazon Music, Prime Video and Audible – here’s a flavour of what’s coming up this October.
“Alexa, quiz me on Black History”
Alexa users can test and build their knowledge with a newly expanded quiz about Black history.
To launch the quiz, simply say “Alexa, open the Black History Month quiz”, or say, “Alexa, quiz me on Black History”.
You can also find out more about Black history with the phrase, “Alexa, what is the fact of the day?” or “Alexa, give me the fact of the day!”
Questions and answers will cover everything from modern literature, UK politics and history, music, culture and much more.
Dive into a good book
Nothing beats a good book – and this year we’re amplifying Black voices with two reading lists specially curated thanks to support from the Black Employee Network.
Watch out for prominent billboards across the UK featuring these brilliant authors and their must-read books.
A range of Kindle Deals on Black History and Politics are available now – find out more.
We’re also highlighting Black British authors with Femi Fadugba, Chibundu Onuzo and Dr Shola-Mos-Shogbamimu reading excerpts from their favourite works – check out the videos today!
Black excellence in film
To mark Black History Month, Amazon Prime Video is launching a range of new ‘Black Excellence’ carousels featuring classic TV series, much-loved and over-looked movies, documentaries and Amazon Originals.
Fans of nineties and noughties TV will love Everybody Hates Chris, Half & Half and One On One, while Amazon Originals include Coming 2 America starring Eddie Murphy, and Guava Island starring Donald Glover and Rihanna.
For comedy fans there’s Alonzo Bodden’s Heavy Lightweight, and documentary fans will love titles like Free Meek, a true-crime docuseries about rapper Meek Mill, plus All In: The Fight for Democracy, which examines the history of voter suppression and the fight for civil rights of US citizens.
Check out all the content inspired by Black History Month on Prime Video today.
Amazon Music is amplifying Black voices
+44, Amazon Music’s flagship Black music playlist which exists to amplify the genres, artists and culture, is releasing exclusive content throughout Black History Month.
On 14th October, the +44 Podcast will record in front of a live audience for the first time from a secret London location – including exclusive performances from very special guests. The +44 Podcast live show will also stream on the Amazon Music UK Twitch channel and for those unable to tune in live, episodes will be made available on Amazon Music.
To celebrate National Album Day on 16th October, +44 will also reimagine iconic album covers from Black music legends with exclusive behind-the-scenes content – including Ray Blk taking on Mary J. Blige’s ‘My Life, and Shakka tackling Craig David’s ‘Born to Do it’.
Employee workshops, fireside chats and classes
Amazon employees across the UK are enjoying a host of events and workshop this month, including our ‘iamremarkable’ workshops, a fireside chat with Barbados-born reggae musician Dennis Bovell and virtual cooking classes!
We’ll also hear from Black Twitch streamers and gamers, host panel sessions on Black representation in LGBTQ+ communities, and share ideas on how to have ‘uncomfortable conversations’ in the workplace.
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