Bear Witness, Take Action

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Bear Witness, Take Action TV Poster Image
YouTube special explores racial injustice, calls for action.

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Positive Messages

Discusses racial injustice in America, importance of holding people and institutions accountable for it. Calls are made for people to do things like acknowledge their privilege, move beyond social media reactions, proactively work toward eradicating systemic racism. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Features Black celebrities, scholars, authors, athletes, and others discussing important issues relating to racism and racial injustice. White YouTube celebs also make appearances. 


The many deaths of Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement, as well as the deaths of Black citizens at the hands of people self-policing, are discussed. Audio is played of George Floyd's final moments. 


Occasional uses of "f--k."


The social event was designed to raise awareness, and to raise money for the Equal Justice Initiative. A call is made for donations at the beginning of the presentation. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bear Witness,Take Action is a special YouTube event featuring a broad range of prominent Black activists, writers, actors, musicians, and others discussing racial injustice in America. It also calls on Black and White communities to rise to action. Discussions about systemic racism, including police brutality, are discussed, and a recording of George Floyd's dying moments is played. The occasional "f--k" is audible. The original event was produced to raise money for the human rights organization the Equal Justice Initiative, and there is an invitation to donate a few minutes into the video presentation. 

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What's the story?

BEAR WITNESS, TAKE ACTION is a YouTube original social event that discusses racial injustice in hopes of inspiring people to take action. The presentation, which originally livestreamed 20 days after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, features hosts Keke Palmer and rapper Common introducing a range of guests, video presentations, and artistic performances. Journalists Soledad O'Brien, Jamele Hill, and Roland S. Martin moderate panel discussions with a range of Black activists, social media celebrities, and former athletes to discuss issues like police brutality, White silence and responsibility, defunding police, and systemic racism. Singers Trey Songz and John Legend perform, and actor Sterling K. Brown, Bryan Stevenson (the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative), and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki also make appearances. The deaths of Black individuals like Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and many others resulting from racial injustice are discussed and honored. 

Is it any good?

This interesting and important special YouTube event features members of the Black community speaking out about the racial injustice committed against African Americans and deconstructing why it happens. From panels with experts like Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza to spoken word poetry presentations, it offers a unified narrative about what the problems are and what needs to be done. It also calls on White America to understand their privilege, and to use it to eradicate the systemic racism that continues to allow this injustice to continue. But much of Bear Witness, Take Action is designed to inspire people to go beyond simply reacting to racism on social media, and instead take proactive steps to ensure that people and institutions are held accountable for their racist behaviors. Only then can America start to heal and finally bring about change. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what racial injustice means. Why are Black people often treated differently than other people in the United States? What solutions does Bear Witness, Take Action offer to change this?

  • What does "systemic racism" mean? What about "acknowledging White privilege"? Parents can talk to kids about some of these issues to raise awareness and tap other media resources to help navigate the conversation. 

  • What are some things you could do on a personal level to help enact change? How can you help your community rise above systemic racism? 

TV details

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For kids who love activism

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