MTV is taking the color out of its programming on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to encourage people to talk about what race means in their lives.
The youth-oriented TV network is airing its programming in black and white on Monday, a first in the channel’s 34-year history.
The programming move is meant to promote the channel’s #TheTalk initiative, encouraging viewers to discuss race with their friends and family.
“The device of turning us black and white is going to be really, visually a jolt to say, you know what, there are differences and if we are going to ever get to a freer, more equal society, the best thing we can begin to do is talk about them,” MTV President Stephen Friedman said.
The retro-look programs will air for 12 hours and will include personal reflections on race from entertainers and public officials, including Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Jordin Sparks, Pete Wentz, Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. John Lewis, Sen. Cory Booker, Selma director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo.