Xbox Announces Black History Month Celebrations

Here's how Microsoft and Xbox are celebrating Black History Month.

February is Back History Month and Microsoft is celebrating in a variety of ways across games and the wider Xbox ecosystem. For the duration of the month, Microsoft will highlight the efforts of Black and African American developers and personalities and help raise money and awareness for important causes.

"We believe that small actions from members of the Xbox community can lead to lasting change in the industry, such as speaking up to report and callout racist remarks, learning about Black history and culture, and empowering Black-owned businesses and inclusive creators," Microsoft's Q Muhaimin and James Lewis said in a blog post.

"By amplifying Black voices, partnering with more Black creators, and continuing to address racial injustice, we strive to contribute to real change in our industry. We are committed to supporting Black audiences across the globe through programs that focus on issues relevant to them," the statement goes on to say.

Throughout February, Microsoft will highlight games, movies, and TV shows curated by Black communities in the Xbox Store. The curated games and entertainment have a particular focus on Black creators, experiences, and protagonists. The Black History Month page of the Xbox Store calls out titles Watch Dogs 2, Apex Legends: Lifeline Edition, and Mafia III, among many others.

For TV and movies, Microsoft's Black History Month page is highlighting titles such as Black Panther, Hidden Figures, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and Insecure.

The Xbox Ambassadors program is getting involved as well, with members sharing stories about how games with representation of their identities impacted their lives--you can read them here.

Microsoft is also hosting livestreams on Twitch throughout February where hosts will play games with Black heroes and more. You can see the full schedule below.

  • Week of February 1 – Black Heroes Week
    • “Let’s play and watch Black heroes be the star of their own games”
  • Week of February 8 – Black Creators/Developers and their Games Week
    • “Meet Black Creators & Developers and learn more about their titles”
  • Week of February 15 – Black Streamers Takeover Week
    • “Meet new & familiar faces in Black gaming communities”
  • Week of February 22 – Black Streamers Takeover Week
    • “Meet new & familiar faces in Black gaming communities”

Additionally, Microsoft is giving Xbox users the ability to donate their Microsoft Rewards points to support the NAACP, Black Girls Code, and Gameheads.

Minecraft's Education Edition, meanwhile, is offering up four lessons and a free demo for students to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Black Lives Matter, and more. Additionally, Microsoft's State of Decay 2 is adding a "We Are Done Dying" t-shirt for players as free DLC. A physical t-shirt will also be available through the Xbox Gear Shop.

Finally, Halo: The Master Chief Collection has added a new Black History Month nameplate that everyone can get just for logging in to the game.

For more, check out the full writeup on the Xbox blog.

In June, following the death of George Floyd, Microsoft donated more than $3 million to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Black Lives Matter Support Fund, and Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).

Watch live streams, videos, and more from GameSpot’s summer event. Check it out

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