Forty-six million. That’s the number of Black folks in the U.S. who don’t see our complexity or value reflected in the media or the culture. Our vision is to revolutionize the media industry by bringing equity to representation in the U.S. and globally.
For most Black people, the weight of racial violence and contentious racial discourse has become increasingly onerous. People of color find themselves having to qualify their grief and justify their outrage. In the face of violence against the Black body, it is more and more difficult to shake the pain, the fear and the confusion that triggers feelings of loneliness and isolation that invade many aspects of our daily lives. Whether in professional circles, academic enclaves or other facets of our lived experience, many of us feel trapped, incapable of living as our full selves. In nuanced ways, the voices and expressions of Black artists, creators and thinkers have been silenced. We have grown resistant to the expectation that we must accommodate or conform to environments that don’t fully see, reflect or celebrate us.
Two common narratives of Blackness permeate our culture: celebrity entertainment and monolithic stereotypes. The vast majority of us live somewhere in the middle - everyday voices swallowed by systems designed not to reflect us.
We're leading the movement that will change this.
According to Nielson, “[Black] households are as much as 142% more likely than non-Hispanic whites to react positively about seeing others in the media who share their cultural and/or ethnic background (2015).” This affirms what many already know: In a world where the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of marginalized groups has been continuous, strategic and systematic, Black empowerment requires a similarly codified approach.
Recognizing the gravity of this gap – and devastated by the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile – our team felt compelled to fill it. We desired a place where we could honor our individual and collective beauty. The result was ROYAL, a transmedia storytelling platform that exists to celebrate, cultivate and empower the complexity of Black life.
ROYAL creates an opportunity for a broader perspective on culture, history and the influence of Black expression. We structured our platform on inclusion, and we thrive off the interdisciplinary efforts of creative collaboration. With a brilliant, young collective of creatives, innovators and entrepreneurs, we are constructing a renaissance in media – particularly around the everyday, grassroots narratives of Black life and all its nuances.