The beginning of February marks the start of Black History Month which was the perfect time for the Paley Center of Media to honor Black Entertainment Television (BET). Founded in 1980 as the first black-owned TV network dedicated to depicting the black experience, BET turns 40 years old this year and was celebrated at a VIP cocktail reception at the Paley Center on January 30.
The center, formerly known as the Museum of Television and Radio, cultivated an entire exhibit to BET which was presented by Citi bank. The exhibit showcases the expansion of the network into music programs, award shows, and multiple channels; alongside its influence on Black History.
The exhibit began with a tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who passed away on January 26, 2020, in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, “Gigi,” and six others. It continued with a wall of background and fun facts about the network and extended back into a room filled with fun facts and tributes to shows such as Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, In Living Color and Everybody Hates Chris.
A huge thank you to BET for fostering Black excellence and making the voices of the black diaspora a priority always.