MTV to Go Black and White for MLK Day Specials on Race

Kendrick Lamar, Common and “Selma” director Ava DuVernay will help the network push its #TheTalk initiative

MTV is going old school and will air in black and white Monday, a first for the 34-year-old network.

The color change will run for 12 hours, and is part of the network’s #TheTalk campaign, encouraging viewers to talk openly about race with friends and family.

“Millennials believe strongly in fairness, but they can also find it difficult to talk openly about race – to be not simply ‘color blind’ but ‘color brave,’ said Stephen Friedman, president of MTV. “Our audience is looking for a way to bring the national conversation on race into their homes and this campaign will give them a forum to express true color bravery.”

Artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Common, Jordin Sparks, “Fall Out Boy” bassist Pete Wentz, Penn Badgley and more will provide personal reflections during the network’s special programming. They’ll be joined by “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, the film’s star David Oyelowo. Rep. John Lewis, who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s, will also join the conversation, along with Senators Rand Paul and Cory Booker.

#TheTalk begins Monday 9 a.m. on MTV.