BET is offering President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden the opportunity to face Black America in a presidential forum that would air on June 19, also known as Juneteenth, a day that celebrates the abolishment of slavery in this country.
The network announced on June 2 that both Trump and Biden had been invited to participate in the forum that would ask them to address issues facing Black people in America including institutional racism that has led to disparities in housing, health, income and the law enforcement and criminal justice systems. Both men would be interviewed individually, so this is not a debate on the issues, and present their platforms for how to move America forward in light of nationwide protests for progress sparked by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on Monday, May 25.
BET, which is also owned by TV Guide's parent company ViacomCBS, is planning “Justice Now: A BET Town Hall,” a virtual telecast that “will give voice to the collective grief, anger, fear, needs and hopes of our community and feature community leaders and activists to share their views on the reforms necessary in America's political and criminal justice systems and the importance of voting at state and federal levels,” according to a statement form the network. This is a follow up to Justice Now: A BET News Special which was hosted by Marc Lamont Hill and featured George Floyd's family, former NBA player Stephen Jackson, Senator Cory Booker, singer John Legend, rapper Tip TIP “T.I.” Harris, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, activist Tamika Mallory, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, Princeton University Department of African American Studies Chairperson Eddie Glaude, Scholar Peniel E. Joseph, Emerald Garner (daughter of Eric Garner), youth activists Michael McDowell and Luis Hernandez, and other leading African American voices in activism.
More information on how to tune in to these telecasts will be coming soon.