Not too long ago, some friends and I were talking about the desirability of a black history channel as we were dealing with jokes about Wakanda and the value of historical simulation video games, specifically Paradox’s EU4, which is a commonly played video game online. There was some concern about there not being enough content for an entire channel of black history, so I thought it would be worthwhile to examine enough facets of black history to see if enough quality content could at least theoretically be made for a viable channel. Now, creating this content is not going to be particularly easy in every case, since there is likely to be a great deal of original content that has to be made. Let us begin, therefore, with the least amount of work that would be necessary and then add to this base original content that could provide a compelling and valuable black history channel as something serious and not only a joke.
The most obvious existing material for a black history channel consists of existing properties that can be leveraged without too much difficulty. For example, existing documentaries that relate to black history (including sports and music history), existing films that touch on themes of black history (ranging from Twelve Years A Slave or Song of the South to Hidden Figures or Gone With The Wind or Compton or any other number of films), and shows that discuss books and other intellectual properties that are created that relate to black history. This content is already created, and would simply need to be put in a context that allowed for its enjoyment in the context of black history. This sort of material could easily contain quite a few hours of programmable content that would not even need to be created in the first place.
A second set of content is that which might have to be created but for which the raw material of information is already readily available. For example, there is a rich amount of history dealing with the Islamic or Atlantic slave trades, as well as information about cultural and political leaders of African nations or those parts of the African diaspora. One could imagine adaptations being made of novels and short stories. One can imagine panel shows that would allow for debates to take place over different approaches within the black community about issues of interest, such as health, politics (matters like reparations, for example, or the legitimacy of Black Lives Matter and other activist groups). Most of this content would be necessary to organize or create, but the raw materials exist, like histories of the Congo Wars or the period of colonization or independence or the achievements of black regiments at war, and would simply need to be worked and developed, some of it at very low cost and some of it with a bit more time and effort.
A third set of content would be considerably more ambitious and might require a great deal of time and effort, but which could provide the sort of material that might reach a broad audience. For example, an original series that was set in historical periods and which allowed for a black perspective of history could be very useful in this regard, or several such series. Additionally, one could imagine some hard-hitting original documentary material being made for notable black poets, musicians, athletes, and other figures. Some of these materials could end up being useful when it comes to efforts made for education during Black History Month, and others could provide a useful way for people to appreciate the contributions made to history by a diverse group of people on several continents. Something like this could certainly be done, if there was the will to do so and a big enough market seen for it.