Animation TV is the only streaming platform that brings all facets of animation culture together and gives back to its community as well.
Animation has not been traditionally a representation for people of color. Coupled with this is the reality that animation distribution for creators is limited. The time has come for animation enthusiasts to rejoice; it’s time to delve into a world never experienced before. Husband and wife duo Jermaine and Whaketa Hargrove plan to launch the first-ever Black-owned streaming animation network, Animation TV, in Summer 2022. Animation TV is the first and only animation streaming platform that streams all aspects of animation culture.
Animation TV will become the sole medium that can introduce viewers to the versatility of animation and all it has to offer. This platform will allow viewers of all ages and nationalities to experience the beauty of animation culture.
Animation TV will offer its content with a subscription and linear channel model for ease of access to viewers. Animation TV will work in collaboration with Small Town Animation Studios to deliver original, exclusive animation content such as the highly anticipated diabetic superhero movie Gumshe: The Type 1 Protector, or faith-based series The Sunday Schoolers, and other originals like Animate My Life, Welcome to Gamerville, Princess Tatenda and the award-winning series Shelly: The Dancing Spider.
Animation TV is intentional about giving back and makes it a part of its business model. Animation TV is the only animation streaming platform that creates opportunities for future animation industry professionals by using a portion of its revenue to provide animation scholarships for students from under-served communities.
In line with this initiative, Animation TV has partnered with some of the biggest names in animation, including Kit Bash 3D and The Animation School in South Africa. The Director and Co-founder of The Animation School, Nuno Martins, has this to say about the initiative, “The Animation School continues to drive diversity through partnerships such as Animation TV. These [partnerships] highlight the importance of building a diverse community within the international animation industry.”
CEO and Founder of Animation TV, Jermaine, also commented on his impending launch, stating, “We are using Animation TV and exclusive content to bring awareness to the lack of diversity and inclusion in the animation industry. By offering distribution to global animation creators, we will amplify the voices that sometimes go unheard. Structuring a theatrical partnership with a major film Studio for some of our stronger animation IP’s is also a goal of Animation TV. We are currently looking to finance, develop and distribute all forms of animation content(2D/3D) from creators all over the world.” Please send all submissions here.
Animation TV is poised to be a platform that translates animation culture into real-world value by tapping into the Metaverse and NFTs as features of the platform. Animation TV will also be distributed globally for users of all operating system interfaces, including iOS, tvOS, Android, Android TV, and the worldwide web.
For more information, please visit Animation TV.
Wendell Scott, NASCAR’s First Black Driver NFT
NFT Collection Honoring the Man Who Broke the NASCAR Color Barrier
A series of historic NFTs created by Wendell Scott Ventures will be introduced and sold to commemorate the iconic and groundbreaking life and legacy of Wendell Scott. On December 1, 1963, Wendell Scott broke NASCAR’s color barrier by becoming the first African American NASCAR driver to win a Grand National race, NASCAR’s highest level. Until Bubba Wallace’s win on October 4, 2021 there had never been another black driver to win a NASCAR race. To this day, Wendell Scott is the only black NASCAR team owner. Despite Wendell Scott’s triumphant victory, he was never awarded a trophy for this win. It wasn’t until August 28, 2021, nearly 60 years after his Jacksonville win that his trophy was posthumously awarded to his family.
Coming off of a successful in-person NFT auction hosted by Authentik Studios at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, in which the first-ever NFTs of an African American NASCAR driver were sold, the collaboration with Worldwide XR, CMG Worldwide and VueXR continues with a broader release on March 6th with the premiere NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway.
100 years after his birth and 58 years after his NASCAR victory, Wendell Scott continues to break barriers as his legacy is now irrevocably entwined with technology that is shaping the future of how users engage with the world around them. NFTs are a fitting mode to share the story of Wendell Scott as NFTs, like Wendell Scott, disrupted society while simultaneously paving the path for change in a broken system. Akin to NFTs impact on technology, cryptocurrency, and the future of Web 3.0, Scott’s impact shook NASCAR’s status quo and made the sport more inclusive and accessible. Owners of these NFTs have a chance to be a part of history in the making.
A monumental series of firsts, these historic NFTs were created in partnership by leading digital agency Worldwide XR (WXR), Extended Reality content developers Vue XR, and Wendell Scott Ventures (the joint venture between David Steward II’s Lion Forge Films (Academy Award®-winning Hair Love), parent company Polarity, a leading black-owned entertainment holding company and Scott 34 Racing) and are the first ever NFTs to be released of an African American NASCAR driver. This will be Nifty’s first time releasing a 3D Augmented Reality (AR) digital car on their platform. The first of it’s kind and an exact 1:1 replica of Wendell Scott’s first-ever NASCAR winning 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air. Much like the blockchain allows users to operate on a decentralized system, the Extended Reality (XR) version of Scott’s car breaks it away from its physical confines of its display at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and brings it to the masses. This AR asset can also be utilized in Metaverse applications.
Depending on which NFT is purchased, owners will also receive Authentik Studios’ SILO™ Digital Frame that brings your NFTs to life by allowing users to display your collections on a 43″ HD high-fidelity audio display from the comfort of their home. Users can access their entire NFT gallery via the SILO™ App & enjoy their NFTs in unparalleled 4K resolution.
About Wendell Scott
Born in rural Virginia in 1921 during the Jim Crow Era, a time when racial segregation was enforced by law, Wendell Scott’s life and career was filled with adversity. After serving as a mechanic in a segregated division in WWII , he was denied access to NASCAR due to the color of his skin. From his first job as a taxi driver, Scott sharpened his driving skills bootlegging moonshine during the Prohibition era.
Scott used trials and tribulations to propel him forward. Scott became the first African American team owner and spent nine years in the “Dixie Circuit”, a smaller regional competitor to NASCAR, until he was finally able to persuade NASCAR to grant him a license to race in 1953 – officially breaking the sport’s color barrier.
Scott won the Jacksonville 200 race in 1963, only to see the win given to a white driver on a “clerical error” (later reversed). After competing in 496 NASCAR races, with 147 Top 10 finishes, a horrific near-death crash in 1973 ended his career. Scott died of cancer in 1990 and was officially inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015, becoming the first African American in NASCAR history to do so.
Wendell Scott’s career was repeatedly challenged by racial prejudice and threats on his life. However, his determined struggle as an underdog would prove to win the hearts of thousands of fans and fellow racers. Scott was, and still is, a pop culture icon who was the subject of the film “Greased Lightning” starring Richard Pryor and was the inspiration for the character of River Scott in Disney’s animated film “Cars 3.”
The Wendell Scott Foundation is run by CEO Warrick Scott and provides educational programs designed for students aged 8 through 18 using STEM-related resources and programs, as well as learning and mentoring opportunities to communities across the country. For more information about the Foundation go to www.wendellscott.org.
Triller Launches Monthly Assembly for Black Creators
A Virtual Event Series Built to Connect Creators with Brands
Triller, the popular global social media and music discovery platform, announced the Assembly for Black Creators, a new virtual event series beginning October 20 and running monthly through the end of 2021. The series will build to the 1st annual Black Creator Conference, which will now be held in the first half of 2022.
The objective of Assembly for Black Creators is to empower Black creators and talent to deepen the pipeline of Black-owned content across entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, sports and other genres available to consumer brands for integration and advertising opportunities. The Assembly will bring together more than 250 Black content creators with major brands, including Popeyes and Hallmark, enabling both parties to forge relationships and create branded content.
Brand managers and content creators will meet in a virtual “Monetization Village,” working together to strategize, ideate and execute real-time social media campaigns. Through this collaboration, brands will have immediate access to bespoke integrations, new audience exposure and possibilities for future collaboration with creators.
“Building direct, equitable relationships between creator and brand is the driving force for Assembly for Black Creators,” said Bonin Bough, Triller’s Chief Growth Officer, who has led the initiative for Triller. “With our innovative ‘Monetization Village,’ Black creators will work with best-in-class brands to gain a more substantial foothold in the ever-evolving digital marketing space. We’re fostering greater racial equity across media, and by bringing together creators and advertisers in a dynamic and supportive environment we will enhance opportunities for everyone.”
“We started this effort with a deep appreciation of the huge impact Black Creators have had on culture and content around the world. With this series, we are catalyzing the need for brands, agencies and media properties to invest in Black creators and media owners,” said Mahi de Silva, CEO of TrillerNet, parent company to Triller, Verzuz, Amplify.ai and other media brands. “Events like the Assembly for Black Creators are essential for pushing important industry-wide change, as it is scalable and repeatable, deploys spend directly to individuals and brands, and helps create a thriving ecosystem of media, bolstered by education, tools and support.”
Assembly for Black Creators will take place October 20, November 10 and December 3, culminating in the Black Creator Conference in 2022. Leading Black-owned, Atlanta-based influencer house The Collab Crib is an advisor and curator. The first day-long event on October 20 will kick off with keynote addresses by music icons Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, founders of the ground-breaking Verzuz “artist battle” livestream platform, as well as remarks from celebrated rapper-singer-producer Quavo.
Assembly for Black Creators will feature breakout and training sessions for creators focused on digital design, new creator tools, augmented reality, culture marketing, virality & trends and platform partnerships and brand building.
For more information, please visit https://assemblyforblackcreators.com.
Triller is the globally popular AI-powered social media and music discovery experience that allows users to create professional-looking videos in a matter of seconds. Pick a song, select the portion of the song you want to use, snap a few takes and with the tap of a button you have a celebrity-quality music video starring you and your friends. Triller relies solely on organic growth and has more than 350 million downoads, with celebrities like Alicia Keys, Cardi B, Marshmello, Roddy Ricch and Eminem regularly using the app to create their own music videos. Triller is owned by TrillerNet. For more information, visit www.triller.co and follow @triller on Instagram.
New research from Karat and Howard University
Survey of 300 Black computer science students highlights the importance of access to computers, exposure to the technology industry, and interview practice
Karat, the world’s leader in technical interviewing, today released new research in partnership with faculty from Howard University exploring key factors that can help more Black software engineers enter the tech industry and excel in their careers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Black engineers comprised just 6 percent of all computer programmers in the U.S. in 2020, and this research shines a light on the challenges and opportunities that exist to improve representation.
Co-authored by Dr. Legand Burge, III, Howard University Professor of Computer Science, Dr. Katherine Picho-Kiroga, Howard University Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, and Portia Kibble Smith, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Karat, The Interview Access Gap for Black Engineers identifies a number of socioeconomic and systemic barriers young Black talent face to get jobs in tech.
“The lack of representation of Black engineers in tech is a barrier to entry for the next generation,” said Kibble Smith. “A lot of the HBCU students we interviewed are first-generation college students. They don’t have a clear understanding of what goes on in a technical interview until they’re interviewing for their first engineering internship, and they don’t have anyone in their networks to help them prepare.”
Structural inequities delay exposure to computer science education and make it more difficult for Black software engineers to start careers in tech.
- Respondents who have had software engineering internships had access to their first PC nearly a full year earlier than those who had not secured an internship.
- They also had their first exposure to computer science education an average of two and a half years earlier.
- Proximity and access to people working in the tech sector increase interview confidence, but the under-representation of Black engineers in the sector limits that access for HBCU students.
- Nearly three-quarters of the survey respondents knew fewer than five people working in big tech, and more than 25 percent reported knowing none.
- Professional networking was even more limited in the tech startup space, with 83 percent of respondents knowing fewer than five people working at startups, and 43 percent not having any contacts.
Interview practice helps students overcome the lack of structural exposure and access to the technology industry.
- Just 39 percent of respondents who had never taken a practice interview believed that they were either somewhat or very likely to succeed in a technical interview.
- Confidence levels increased with more practice, with those numbers climbing to 79 percent of people with more than three practice interviews.
- This also translated to career opportunities. 55 percent of survey respondents who have taken more than three practice interviews have had an engineering internship, compared to just 9 percent of those who have never had one.
Closing the access gap
Adding transparency to the hiring process and building ways for candidates to practice technical interviews are two ways that tech companies can close the access gap and reduce interview anxiety for underrepresented engineering candidates. Strategies for accomplishing this include publishing sample interview questions online and giving candidates multiple opportunities to interview. Both of these practices help demystify technical hiring for engineers from nontraditional backgrounds. This not only creates a more equitable talent pipeline but also a more efficient and effective way to hire the best engineers.
“The students in my classes are incredibly resourceful, they’ve had to hustle their entire lives. These are positive traits that hiring managers look for, but they’re hard to demonstrate in a traditional job interview,” noted Dr. Burge. “This research highlights the importance of transparency and making information about interviews readily available for candidates. It also reinforces why practice interview programs like Brilliant Black Minds are so critical for closing the access gap and empowering more Black engineers.”
Karat’s Brilliant Black Minds program provides Black software engineers free practice interviews with live feedback to expose students to the components of a technical interview alongside career development workshops.
“The program has helped participants build confidence, hone their technical interviewing skills, and ultimately get summer internships and full-time jobs,” added Kibble Smith. “Interview scores from the Fall and Spring practice seasons showed promising results, with more than three-quarters of students maintaining or improving their performance.”
The full report includes survey responses and feedback from focus groups conducted in the Spring of 2021. More than 300 Black computer science students and HBCU alumni from schools including Howard University, Morehouse College, and University of North Carolina Charlotte participated.
Karat unlocks opportunity by conducting predictive, fair, and enjoyable interviews for the world’s largest and fastest-growing companies. Karat’s human+tech approach uses the world’s first interviewing cloud to enable a global network of Interview Engineers. The expertise and data generated from hundreds of thousands of interviews produce a trusted hiring signal that unlocks developer productivity, accelerates hiring, drives transparency, and promotes equity. Karat is building innovative products and services like the Brilliant Black Minds program with an eye towards becoming the developer talent platform and accelerating the journey from how developers find jobs to how they grow in their careers.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows, and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.