Today, Apple has announced its celebration of Black History Month by launching numerous spotlights across its services and products such as the Apple Watch, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and more.
“In celebration of Black History Month, Apple is spotlighting Black business and innovation, and amplifying Black voices with a variety of exclusive content and curated collections. Throughout the month, users can listen to special episodes of “The Message” on Apple Music 1 that discuss Black creators’ contributions to culture and the importance of health and wellness in the community; join new workouts that honor Black History Month on Apple Fitness+; discover new podcasts from Black creators about health, well-being, culture, and history on Apple Podcasts; and much more. Starting today, customers can also enjoy a special edition Unity Lights watch face and order the new Apple Watch Black Unity Braided Solo Loop.”
Apple Music users can listen to special episodes of “The Message” on the Apple Music 1 radio station. The episodes will feature Ebro Darden – Apple Music’s head of Hip-Hop and R&B in conversations with guests. Apple says that the episodes “contextualize contemporary issues around Black health and wellness”:
“The radio episodes will contextualize contemporary issues around Black health and wellness, and highlight the historical perspective, achievements, and contributions that Black people have made to culture.”
Apple Music will also highlight various interpretations of Black History Month music such as Movement, Black Love, Celebration, and Peace in the service’s Browse, Genre, and Radio pages. Finally, those music videos will be an inspiration for Apple TV+ videos.
Apple Watch will receive a new watch face called Unity Lights inspired by Afrofuturism. The watch face can be customized with black and white colors, in addition to a full screen and circular dial, a monogram, and up to four complications. The company will also release a special edition Apple Watch Black Unity Braided Solo Loop – This band is made using 2D ray tracing. Apple is set to support organizations determined through its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative to advance inclusion in science and technology for communities of color.
The Apple Watch Black Unity Braided Solo Loop is available on Apple’s website and will launch in select Apple Stores on February 1 for $99 while the Unity Lights watch face is available to add in the Apple Watch app.
Listeners on Apple Podcasts can browse many podcast shows by Black creators about Black history, health, well-being, and culture. The company has invited seven “would-be history-makers” to share their works. The seven people are:
- Roxane Gay – bestselling author, professor, and social commentator
- Stephen Satterfield – food writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Whetstone Magazine
- Jay Williams – former basketball player and sports TV personality
- Morgan Harper Nichols – artist and poet
- Glory Edim – founder of the Well-Read Black Girl reading network
- Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings – the founders of the financial literacy and lifestyle brand Earn Your Leisure
Users of Apple Fitness+ now have a playlist dedicated to Black History Month, Black artists, and two new meditations led by Fitness+ trainers Christian Howard and JoAnna Hardy. During this time, users have the opportunity to join the Unity Challenge, close their Move ring seven days in a row, and earn a limited-edition award. On February 7, the service will release an episode of Time to Walk featuring the founder of the Black Lives Matter Ayọ Tometi. At the same time, Time to Run will release a new episode with Fitness+ trainer Cory Wharton-Malcolm coaching runners in Atlanta, Georgia.
In terms of the App Store, the platform will put the spotlight on numerous apps focused on “Black health and wellness in all areas of life, from financial to physical and mental well-being.” In addition to the company’s global editorial team showing stories on developers, apps, and more. The App Store will feature four apps for the month:
- Merlin Bird ID
- Nike Run Club
For Apple Books, there will be a focus on Black health and wellness with books made by Harriet A. Washington and Alex Elle.
“With collections that explore their work, and other features recommending works by Black writers across a variety of genres, Apple Books will offer readers and listeners diverse perspectives on the richness of Black expression and experience.”
Apple is using Guides on Apple Maps to highlight Black-owned businesses and Black History across many sites in the U.S., including:
- Famous Auburn Avenue Black History Sites
- National Parks that Honor Black History
- Philadelphia’s anti-slavery sites
- Tinybeans in Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
Apple TV App
The Apple TV app will feature collections by famous Black stars that include Tiffany Haddish, Mekhi Phifer, Natasha Rothwell, Sam Richardson, and more.
“Viewers can also explore a spectrum of mood-based collections ranging from rest and romance to deep contemplation, as well as collections centered on wellness, spirituality, and faith.”
Readers of Apple News can explore works of top Black journalists using the service’s episodes of Apple News Today.
“Audiences can explore expert reporting and analysis on the Black experience through curated collections, audio stories, and episodes of Apple News Today, a daily audio briefing from Apple News available each weekday morning.”
Shot on iPhone
Finally, Apple’s previously announced Shot on iPhone contest will feature portraits and a video of four camera pioneers.
“From an athlete to a costume designer, a music executive, and a Michelin-starred chef. Each individual shares stories about their inspiration, life’s work, and philosophy.”