Representation matters, especially for our children. Each year, pivotal societal and political moments put more emphasis on this, and media outlets are finally starting to understand and answer the call. Platforms like AfrokidsTV, which is available to stream for kids to watch, with special messages specifically geared towards children of color and their families.
What Is AfrokidsTV?
AfrokidsTV is a premium channel available on Roku, Amazon TV, and Android TV with content for children between the ages of 3 to 12 years old. The channel is an extension of Afrokids.com, a platform that "addresses the special needs of the Black family with positive images provided as role models for children and parenting resources" that gives "children and parents access to the type of websites Black families cannot get anywhere else."
The kid-friendly channel offers a "variety of animated shows produced in various media styles" that feature "historical people and puppets," as well as the Afrokids® Adventures series, according to Roku's description.
What Can Children Watch On AfrokidsTV?
The programs are broken into the following age groups.
Kids 3 to 5 years old:
- These programs are focused on enhancing developmental skills like learning the alphabet, phonics, numbers, and shapes. Shows for younger kids include Tiny Toy Fun, How To With Callaloo, Akili and Me, and Hickory Dickory.
Kids 6 to 9 years old:
- These programs are focused on cognitive thinking and self-awareness, including the introduction to S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math). Shows for this age group include The Six Kingdoms of Africa, The Woodpecker, and High John The Conqueror.
Kids 9 to 12 years old
- AfrokidsTV programs for kids in this age group are designed to build on the platform's S.T.E.A.M. content.
How Can I Watch AfrokidsTV?
You can stream AfrokidsTV content on Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, and Android TV with a subscription. The platform will also be available on Apple TV soon. Subscriptions are broken down into monthly and annual prices. Monthly subscriptions start at $5 for 30 days and $20 for five months and annual subscriptions are $49.
To subscribe, head over to Afrokids.tv and select your preferred plan. Each plan comes with "full access" to materials on the Afrokids.tv website and app.
Who Founded AfrokidsTV?
Its founders, the legendary Black animator, Leo Sullivan, created Afrokids Animation Studio with Floyd Norman, Disney's first African American animator in 1966. "The reason why we developed the site is to expose the African American family to other things that they can show to their kids," Sullivan says in a video posted on the Afrokids website, adding that the programs are not the "normal Saturday morning" lineup.
"I've worked on hundreds of those kinds of shows," explains Sullivan, whose best known for his work on The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Super Friends, The Transformers, The Incredible Hulk, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, and My Little Pony ‘n Friends. "I saw the formula and how they did things and believe it or not, those shows do affect kids' minds."
Sullivan said he and his team are in the process of revamping the website to make it more multimedia-friendly for kids and their families. "What I wanted to do with AfroKids is to get positive images, so our children could be proud to stand up," Sullivan said in a promo video for the channel. He added that he hopes the channel will also be an educational outlet for non-Black ethnicities. "That's basically the purpose of AfroKids, everything you see on there is positive."