Positive role models in media have the potential to be transformative. Role models by definition influence what children and youth do, what they think about, their goals, and values. Mainstream media has not served the black community well in providing positive role models. Instead, there are pervasive representations of negative stereotypes; and there is a deficit of important, relatable, and positive narratives. These distorted story lines undermine self-esteem and contribute to how others perceive and treat black children and youth.
Afrokids responded to this shortfall by chronicling the beauty, depth, and breadth of African American culture through comprehensive programming where black children and youth are center stage. With Afrokids Premium TV there is programming for multiple age groups (i.e., 3 – 5 years, 6 – 9 years, and aged 10+). Programs focus on community, heritage, education, and life lessons. Children learn about reading, phonics, and mathematics (among other subjects) in ways that affirm their heritage using representative role models and cultural references. Important values such as perseverance, healthful eating, and treating others with respect are promoted as one watches Afrokids and diverse characters in their everyday and engaging journeys. There are also interactive games, coloring pages, and puppet shows.
Sample offerings include the following.
- Veggie Heros and Tuskegee Redtails games that promote eye-hand coordination, matching, and memory;
- Afrokids Adventures where children journey with Afrokids as they learn life lessons, respect, and responsibilities;
- Black History Boy who time travels back to ancient African civilizations and learns about the practices and issues of the day; and
- Ubongo Kids, an animated and educational series produced in Tanzania that helps kids find the fun in learning.
How to purchase and access Afrokids
Afrokids offers several pricing options. Plans include the following.
- A monthly subscription of 5.00,
- A yearly subscription of $49.95,
- A five month subscription of $20.00,
- You can also purchase books and DVDs and Afro kids themed clothing and accessories.
Afrokids can be viewed via the Internet and is also a Roku channel. It is also available through Amazon Fire TV.
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Afrokids is a sponsor of Shop With Leslie. More information about the importance of positive cultural representation and role models in media is available from the following sources.
- Akintola, Temitope and Adekunte, Shadia. “Why black representation matters.” 5 February, 2018. https://westerngazette.ca/features/special_editions/why-black-representation-matters/article_9fc86cfa-0a8c-11e8-b000-3b5afb299305.html
- Brown, Jared. “Why Black children need positive images.” 4 October, 2016. https://www.blackenterprise.com/black-children-need-positive-black-images/
- Lawson, Kimberly. “Why seeing yourself represented on screen is so important.” 20 February, 2018. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/zmwq3x/why-diversity-on-screen-is-important-black-panther
- Racebending.com “Study examines television, diversity, and self-esteem.” 6 June, 2012. http://www.racebending.com/v4/blog/study-examines-television-diversity-self-esteem/
- The Opportunity Agenda. “Social science literature review: Media representations and the impact on the lives of Black men and boys.” October 2011. https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/Media-Impact-onLives-of-Black-Men-and-Boys-OppAgenda.pdf