Since 1976, the nation has celebrated the contributions and achievements of Black Americans each February. This commemorative moment in the yearly calendar serves as a reminder of where we’ve been, as well as how far we’ve come. MasterClass, an online education subscription platform, is making a glimpse of that history available to everyone for free this month, releasing a three-part, 54-lesson class entitled “Black History, Black Freedom, and Black Love.”
"Black History, Black Freedom, and Black Love is the most important and comprehensive class MasterClass has ever created," said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass in a statement shared with EBONY. "This class teaches us how to build a society that honors Black voices, love and joy—lessons everyone can and should hear.” Because Black History Month drives a national conversation around race and equity, the company says it felt this was the right moment to make this class available for free.
Through the insight and wisdom of Jelani Cobb, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Angela Davis, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Sherrilyn Ifill, John McWhorter and Cornel West, the complimentary class examines the nature of race relations in America. “MasterClass instructors are truly the world’s best and it was important that we bring together a group of groundbreaking thinkers across a range of fields and experiences,” Nekisa Cooper, VP of content at MasterClass tells EBONY. Collectively, Cooper says the instructors bring decades of insights and lived experiences to provide a foundational understanding of the historical and cultural context of white supremacy and provide the lessons needed to discover a path forward. The class is part of MasterClass’ $2 million commitment to creating content that “inspires and educates on social justice and against systemic racism.”
Cooper describes the collection of lessons as an “uncensored and unfiltered version of Black history that is not typically taught in school." MasterClass hopes that these powerful tutorials will inspire action and help solve the problems we still face as a society today.
With 54 lessons and 10 hours of content, the class provides a foundational understanding of the historical and cultural context of white supremacy and its lasting impact on modern societal structures in the United States. The class also provides the knowledge and skills necessary to begin dismantling it and discovering a path forward.
“Black History, Black Freedom, and Black Love provides a foundational understanding of race and racism in America, while challenging our preconceived notions around its impact throughout the past, present and future of our country’s history,” says Cooper. “We hope anyone who watches the class leaves the experience with more awareness and understanding of the complex challenges we still face as a society today.”