June 19, 2021

The Paley Center for Media is proud to celebrate that Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, honoring the important legacy of freedom for African Americans, is now recognized as a United States national holiday. To commemorate our newest holiday, we present a salute to African American creators, producers, and stars who have told African American stories with an honesty and authenticity on television. The Paley Center has a long history in recognizing influential African American storytellers and creative talent who have broken barriers, shattered stereotypes, and raised awareness around the importance of authentically presenting the African American experience in America. Our celebration includes a focus on some leading African American chefs and special recipes they have shared with us.


Paley Center Programs

In the curated list of events below, you will hear the invaluable expertise and wisdom from many of the most prominent African American creators working in television today, including: Ava DuVernay, Misha Green, Soledad O’Brien, Lena Waithe, Mara Brock Akil, Larry Wilmore, Tracy Oliver, and many more.

Paley Front Row: Queen Sugar (2021)

Panelists: Ava DuVernay, Creator; Dawn-Lyen Gardner; Kofi Siriboe; Rutina Wesley; Moderator: Michele Norris

PaleyFest LA 2021 Lovecraft Country

Panelists: Misha Green, Executive Producer, Writer, and Developer; Jurnee Smollett; Michael Kenneth Williams; Aunjanue Ellis; Wunmi Mosaku; Jamie Chung; Abbey Lee; Moderator: Dominic Patten

PaleyImpact: Uncovering Racial Injustice with BET's Disrupt and Dismantle (2021)

Panelists: Soledad O'Brien, Award-winning Journalist, Producer, and Host of BET's documentary series Disrupt and Dismantle; Moderator: Scott Mills, BET President

PaleyImpact: Choosing to Challenge: How Women Are Leading the Way (2021)

Panelists: Phylicia Rashad, Actor and Director; Misty Copeland, Ballerina, Author, and Philanthropist; Cynthia Erivo, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award–Winning Actor, Singer, and Producer; Norah O'Donnell, Anchor and Managing Editor, CBS Evening News; Val Demings, U.S. Representative from Florida; Julie Foudy, espnW Writer, ESPN Soccer Commentator, and Two-Time World Cup Champion; Rita Moreno, Actor and Activist; Moderator: Alicia Menendez, MSNBC

Running the Show with Lena Waithe (2020)

Panelists: Lena Waithe, Executive Producer/Creator/Writer, Boomerang and Twenties; Dime Davis, Coexecutive Producer/Director, Boomerang; Angeli Millan, Coexecutive Producer, Boomerang; Susan Fales-Hills, Executive Producer, Twenties

PaleyFest NY: Girlfriends (2020)

Panelists: Mara Brock Akil, Creator; Golden Brooks; Persia White; Tracee Ellis Ross; Jill Marie Jones; Reggie Hayes; Moderator: Joi-Marie McKenzie

Paley Front Row: BET: Tracy Oliver (2020)

Panelists: Tracy Oliver, Writer, Girls Trip, Creator, First Wives Club; Moderators: Actors Meagan Good and Grace Byers

Paley Front Row: Jingle Jangle (2020)

Panelists: David E. Talbert, Director and Writer; Lyn Sisson-Talbert, Producer; John Legend, Producer and Composer; Mike Jackson, Producer; Moderator: Tre’vell Anderson

PaleyFest Fall Previews: Peacock’s Wilmore (2020)

Panelists: Larry Wilmore, Host and Executive Producer, Wilmore; Moderator: Al Roker, Today

They Run the Show: African-American Creators and Producers in Conversation (2018)

Panelists: Prentice Penny, Executive Producer/Showrunner, Insecure; Cheo Hodari Coker, Creator/Executive Producer/Showrunner, Luke Cage; Janine Sherman Barrois, Executive Producer, Claws; Justin Simien, Creator, Dear White People; Karin Gist, Executive Producer/Showrunner, Star; Courtney Kemp, Creator/Executive Producer/Showrunner, Power; Moderator: Nischelle Turner, Host, Entertainment Tonight


African American Chefs on TV

The Paley Center is proud to celebrate this important American holiday by inviting some of the most influential African American TV chefs to share fun recipes that you and your family can make at home. Television and food each have the power to bring people together, make us feel something and affirm the importance of maintaining cultural heritage.


Kombucha Spritzer


Celebrating with Family

Activity Sheet

Michiel Perry
Host of Food Network's The Juneteenth Menu and Founder of Black Southern Belle



Red Velvet Bundt Cake


Jerrelle Guy
Founder of Chocolate for Basil and Author of Black Girl Baking; Featured on Netflix's High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America



Teamwork Cornbread


Waffles + Mochi
Curious puppet pals from Netflix's Waffles + Mochi


Waffles & Mochi with Michelle Obama

Diversity & Inclusion Programming Initiative Donors

The Paley Center thanks the donors who have contributed to the Diversity & Inclusion Programming Initiative:

AMC Networks Entertainment Group
Apple, Inc.
Banijay and Endemol Shine Holdings
Berlanti Productions
CBS Entertainment Group
Condé Nast Entertainment
Deloitte LLP
End of Episode Productions
FOX Entertainment
FTI Consulting Inc.
FX Networks & FX Productions
GroupM North America

Isaac Lee, Exile Content
Lionsgate Television Group
Mary Parent
Matt Johnson
NBCUniversal Television and Streaming
OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network
Phillip Sun, M88
Robert Greenblatt
Showtime Networks & CBS
Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Lippin Group
The Walt Disney Company
Theresa Kang-Lowe
Tyler Perry Studios
Warner Bros. Television Group
World Surf League

As of January 2022