kweliTV is a video streaming service that curates indie films, documentaries, web series and kids programming that reflects the black experience across the African Diaspora.
The idea for kweliTV came to me one night while flipping through a bunch of cable channels. This was a couple of years ago, during the height of reality television. Most of my choices were comedies, reality TV or 90s throwback movies. The black women were shown as loud and ready to fight. And the black men, they were mostly shown as criminals or deadbeat dads.
This wasn’t all in my head, either. Studies show that blacks in criminal roles tend to outnumber blacks in socially positive roles in newscasts and daily newspapers; almost a third of black women in film and television shows are shown in a sexualized light; and negative imagery of black women appears twice as often as positive depictions in the media.
We created kweliTV because we wanted to provide a space where black people from around the globe could connect and learn about our different cultures — what we have in common and how we differ. We created kweliTV to take control of our media and give our thought-leaders, journalists, filmmakers, life coaches, activists, teachers, historians, designers, etc., a space to have a voice.