Celebrating Black History Month with BET
If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.
This notion was a driving force behind the creation of Black Entertainment Television in 1980. And now 40 years later, BET is still showcasing the stories of African Americans. To celebrate Black History Month, we talked with BET executives about the importance of elevating the black experience and the networks’ many accomplishments.
Black History Month at BET
When asked what Black History month means at BET, both Scott Mills, President of BET Networks, and his colleague Jeanine Liburd, Chief Social Impact and Communications Officer, had the same response – every month is Black History Month at BET!
“In part, because of what BET is, for African Americans – Black History isn’t a month, or a point in time. Black History Month is a month where the society at large turns and focuses on the contributions of African Americans.” said Mills, “We think it’s an opportunity to take the position that we occupy and further support individuals, companies, communities, and organizations’ engagement with the African American community.”
For Black History Month 2020, BET is focused on mobilizing the black community to vote and participate in the 2020 Census. They chose February to launch two new initiatives, and also partnered with the NAACP.
Another way BET marks Black History Month is by celebrating Black Excellence, a concept that not only lives in the hearts and minds of employees, but that is prominently displayed in the walls of their headquarters in New York.
No matter what month it may be, BET will continue to focus on the contribution of African Americans and living its mission to entertain, engage, and empower the black community.
And most importantly, as Jeanine Liburd noted, for many viewers BET is like coming home.
“There is always a storyline,” says Liburd, “there is always a show that either reminds you of something in your path or brings you something that you want to obtain in your future.”