Netflix is creating a series of musical animated shorts for young viewers based on bestselling children’s book Antiracist Baby by historian and antiracism scholar Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.
Kendi is executive producing children’s TV writer/producer Chris Nee (Doc McStuffins, Vampirina), who has an overall deal with the streaming platform.
The music videos will focus on the nine steps to being antiracist as outlined in Kendi’s 2020 board book illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. It has already featured in Netflix’s preschool series Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices.
“I feel deeply honored to have a chance to help deepen the impact of Dr. Kendi’s work,” Nee said in a statement. “We are living in tumultuous times, and it is incumbent on all of us to use our platforms to make the world a better place. Antiracist Baby aligns perfectly with the values of my company, Laughing Wild, and Netflix as a whole, and we are excited to be a vehicle through which it can continue to influence the world for the better.”
The series is a part of a partnership between Netflix and Kendi to produce three new projects based on his acclaimed books. The other two books are Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You. Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams (Music by Prudence and Life, Animated) will direct Stamped From the Beginning, described as “a hybrid documentary/scripted feature,” according to a press release. Girlfriends creator Mara Brock Akil will executive produce along with Kendi.
“I’m elated these projects landed at Netflix. What a wonderful partner,” Kendi said in a statement. “I’m elated to work with Roger Ross Williams, Mara Brock Akil, and Chris Nee. They are such ambitious, innovative, and passionate creators who are committed to racial justice. But I’m really elated for the viewers, for the adults and children who will be captivated, informed, and transformed by these projects.”
Kendi will executive produce all three projects.