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Al Jazeera America Launches Black History Month Content

Al Jazeera America will debut four new episodes of its Talk To Al Jazeera focusing on prominent African-Americans as part of its recognition of Black History Month, the network said Friday.

The service will also launch a month-long social media campaign under the tagline #BrandingBlack that will look to raise important questions about the line between multicultural marketing and potential perpetuation of stereotypes.

The Talk to Al Jazeera lineup for February includes interviews with American ballet dancer Misty Copeland (Feb. 1); Recording artist Akon  (Feb. 8); comedian/activist Rain Pryor (Feb. 15) and Writer/photographer Taiye Selasi (Feb. 22).

In addition, the network’s series Real Money with Ali Velshi will tackle several issues during  the month including  the Commercialization of Black History Month (Feb. 6);  Is MLK too old-school a symbol for Black History Month?(Feb. 13); “Selma”/Branding Black History Month (Feb. 20) and Black History Month & Ferguson (Feb. 27).

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.