Celebrate Black History Month in VR

Oculus Blog
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February 3, 2022
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Black History Month is a time for reflection, remembrance, and celebration of the significant impact that Black people have had on the world. Today, we’re highlighting a selection of content and events to help you experience Black history and culture in immersive new ways. We’ll update this blog post every Monday of the month to add new things to check out throughout February.

First up, here are all the ways to celebrate in Horizon Venues:


“As Soon as They Can Talk” Monique Marshall
February 8 // 6:00 – 7:07 pm PT

We must raise our children differently if we want to dismantle systemic racism in America. A mother and educator who has worked with young children for 30 years, Monique Marshall shares her personal journey toward self awareness and learning about the systemic nature of race and racism in America.


“Burn Baby Burn” - Tyree Boyd-Pates
February 15 // 6:00 – 7:03 pm PT

Tyree Boyd-Pates is a dynamic history curator, professor, writer, and speaker who expounds on Black culture from a millennial vantage and mobilizes communities of color. “Burn Baby, Burn: Historical Reflections of Los Angeles’s Uprisings” is a talk that revisits how in Los Angeles, CA, uprisings and rebellions are not merely caused by filmed accounts of police brutality. Instead, they are brought about from decades of racist policy, police repression, and inequitable conditions (housing, education, medically) for communities of color—especially for African Americans—causing them to erupt.


Big Freedia
February 22 // 6:00 – 7:29 pm PT

The Queen Diva has arrived. Come get down with the legendary New Orleans-based hip-hop artist and worldwide ambassador of Bounce music for a night that’s guaranteed to be so hot the walls will start to sweat.


There are also plenty of ways to immerse yourself in Black history and culture beyond Horizon Venues.


Traveling While Black

A free cinematic VR experience from Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, Traveling While Black explores the history of restriction of movement for Black Americans and the creation of safe spaces in our communities. The 360° footage draws us into living history lessons told around a booth in Ben’s Chili Bowl, a Washington, DC restaurant that has been a mainstay of the African-American community since 1958, bearing witness to significant Civil Rights milestones that are woven into the film in powerful snippets of footage.


IN PROTEST Docu-Series: Made by Black Immersive Storytellers

A 360° VR film docu-series, IN PROTEST chronicles the heroic Black voices in America confronting inequality and injustice today. Watching the series in VR gives you a front row seat to the Black Lives Matter movement, both for those unable to physically participate and for those that want to learn more from activists on the ground.

Check out the full series in Oculus TV on the Quest Platform:


The People’s House: Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama

The People’s House poignantly captures an important moment in American culture, letting people around the world step inside the spheres of President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama. Never before have so many people been able to share an intimate moment with a head of state, showing one of the many ways that VR can break down barriers and connect us.


NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism

This award-winning narrative project from Hyphen-Labs combines technology, product design, and haircare to posit a speculative future of black women advancing the fields of cognitive science within the cultural frame of a feminist Afrofuturism.


Rangi

This adventure puzzle game draws its inspiration from the tribal art, ancient architecture, rhythmic music, and landscapes of Africa. Based in Casablanca, Morocco, the developer Funsoft prides itself on the ability to fuse industry expertise with African cultural heritage.


Looking for more ways to celebrate Black History Month in VR? Check back each Monday during the month of February for an update.