At Xbox, we are committed to building the world’s most comprehensive community, where everyone can experience the joy and connection of gaming and bring their authentic selves into the action. In 2021 we will celebrate Black history month by delivering immersive gaming experiences that highlight contributions from influential Black and African American developers and developers, while also raising awareness of key causes that matter to black communities.
We believe that small actions by members of the Xbox community can lead to permanent changes in the industry, such as: report and highlight racist speech, learn about black history and culture, and empower black-owned businesses and inclusive creators.
By strengthening the black voices, partnering with more black creators, and continuing to crack down on racial injustice, we strive to contribute to real change in our industry. We are committed to empowering black audiences around the world through programs that focus on topics that are relevant to them.
Last June, the Xbox team and the Xbox community of players supported the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Black Lives Matter Support Fund, and the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) by raising over $ 3 million to them donated to crucial purposes. This post is part of ours wider engagement to take action and fight racial injustices.
Here are some of the ways we want to celebrate and nurture Black Communities:
Digital Stores – Xbox & Windows: Discover games, movies and TV curated by Black Communities at Microsoft
This February and beyond, we’re showcasing collections of games, films, and TV shows selected by black communities at Microsoft that focus on black creators, experiences, protagonists, and more.
After the party – Players enjoyed seeing Lola in this supernatural adventure from creator Adam Hines.
Guard dogs 2 – Notable protagonist, Marcus Holloway is a self-taught hacker, and the game has been lauded for its accurate portrayal of experiences such as code switching that made community members feel like they were being seen.
The Sims 4 – We love that developers worked with an influential Black Modder and others to produce one recent update With over 100 skin tones, skin tone and makeup customization tools, and improved hairstyles for the base game.
“Black Panther” – The loss of Chadwick Boseman was tragic, but he remains a guide to an inspiring world where blacks, Africans and browns are equal, part of a respected culture and lead global innovation. Directed by Ryan Coogler.
“Unsure” – From an amazing soundtrack by lesser known black artists to natural hairstyles and lighting, this Emma-nominated show by Issa Rae is a dependable hit.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” – Miles Morales reveals the Puerto Rican and Afro-Latin American roots as Spider-Man.
“Hidden Figures” – This film sheds light on the true story of three black women, mathematicians, who were behind one of the greatest operations in human history at NASA.
Some visitors in the US and Canada can view the full collections in the Microsoft Store on Xbox Microsoft Store on Windowsand the Xbox app on Windows. Starting March 1st, Xbox and Windows store visitors can find Microsoft Black Community tips by searching for “Black History Month” and related terms.
Xbox Community Game Club Experience
The Xbox Community Game Club is a weekly opportunity to play, share and discuss games together as a community. To celebrate Black History Month, we are showcasing titles and games developed by Black / African American creators, as well as Black / African American characters and speakers. Check in weekly to discover your new favorite game and join #XboxGameClub to discuss the importance of representation in gaming.
Xbox ambassadors share their stories
Highlighting and amplifying community voices is central to the Xbox Ambassadors mission. In celebration of Black History Month, we asked those who identify as Black / African American how games representing their identity have affected them and to share their own stories about being a member of a gaming community. We’ve received hundreds of responses and carefully selected the following to share.
Here are their stories: blog-ambassadors.xbox.com/black-history-month-xbox-ambassadors
Xbox programming to celebrate Black History Month
Xbox will dedicate all of our live streaming content throughout the month to celebrate Black History Month by featuring black protagonists in games, developers, content creators, and streamers! Follow us on Twitch.tv/Xbox so you don’t miss any of the action!
- Week of February 1st – Black Heroes Week
- “Let’s play and see how black heroes star their own games.”
- Week of February 8th – Black Creators / Developers and their Games Week
- “Meet Black Creators & Developers and learn more about their titles”
- Week of February 15th – Black Streamers Takeover Week
- “Meet New and Familiar Faces in Black Gaming Communities”
- Week of February 22nd – Black Streamers Takeover Week
- “Meet New and Familiar Faces in Black Gaming Communities”
Gaming and Impact with Microsoft Rewards
Microsoft Rewards members can collect points and donate to multiple organizations that support black communities Xbox. All Microsoft Rewards donations to the organizations listed below will be matched by Microsoft in February.
- The NAACP is a civil rights organization in the United States founded in 1909 as an interracial effort to promote justice for African Americans.
- Code for black girls is a nonprofit organization focused on providing technology education for African American girls.
- Game heads is a tech training program that uses video game design, development, and DevOps to create diverse talent and brave new voices, educate teens for the tech ecosystem, and prepare them for college, careers, and civil life.
Xbox players can easily earn Microsoft Rewards points including playing or buying games after downloading the Microsoft Rewards app on Xbox.
Learn how to earn Microsoft Rewards on your Xbox console. Earn points and redeem them for real rewards. Join today.
Mojang Studios / Minecraft: Education Edition offers new learning opportunities
Black History Month is an important opportunity to educate students on the history of civil rights and the ongoing struggle for social and racial justice. To celebrate is Minecraft: Education Edition offers four new lessons and a free demo experience Assisting students and educators in addressing these critical issues. Students can learn about the life and activism of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will learn, examine ideas behind identity, relive key moments in the American civil rights movement, and learn how Black Lives Matter continues the work of racial justice. Additionally, players and families can download and access Minecraft: Education Edition Lessons in good trouble as a free demo through February in honor of Black History Month. Lessons in good trouble
For more information and to download Minecraft: Education Edition for free, please visit: aka.ms/black-history-month
Undead Labs hires original design merchandise to support the NAACP
This year, during Black History Month, Undead Labs, in close partnership with the NAACP, commissioned an original T-shirt design from the artist Ty Ferrell. The design was inspired by the NAACP campaign “We Are Done Dying” and the themes of hope and overcoming adversity as a community represented in it and is based on it State of decay 2.
This eye-catching original artwork will be available to all gamers and fans in two forms: as a free cosmetic product within State of Decay 2 and as a limited-edition physical t-shirt (available soon) Xbox Gear Shop) in support of the NAACP.
T-shirt sales are only available between February 8th and March 1st, 2021. No reprints are planned.
Within the game, the digital t-shirt is automatically added as a free item for all players.
Black History Month nameplate for Halo: The Master Chief Collection
In Halo: The Master Chief Collection, our players can customize their profile with special nameplates that remind of in-game activities or celebrate special events. All players who sign up in February will automatically have access to a unique Black History Month nameplate! It allows players to show their pride in their own identity, celebrate Black History Month, and continue to foster a culture of inclusion in gaming.
Team Xbox works with the Xbox gamer community to create change through engaging and immersive gaming experiences. Through these experiences, we hope to highlight and celebrate the valuable contributions made by black communities during Black History Month and beyond.
Play. Connect. A hit: Find out more about everything Xbox is doing to celebrate Black History Month in Xbox Community Hub.