School age children are learning in the age of technology, i.e. internet, wireless devices and multi-dimensional imagery. Major conglomerates such as PBS Kids, Disney and Nickelodeon have met success with engaging children in programming for entertainment or educational purposes. However, there are few educational shows that address the cultural and historical needs of children of color.
EdAnime Productions, co-founded by a host of African American teenagers and young adults, was created to address the aforementioned deficiencies. Their flagship animated series, Meltrek, is a collection of lessons designed to teach children about the history, culture and contributions of African-Americans from 3000 BCE to 2008 using hip hop music as a teaching tool.
The first animated lesson of Meltrek, “Exploring Ancient Africa”, teaches children about the birthplace of humanity, Africa. Children are taught about the great black rulers, culture and defining landscapes of pre-diaspora Africa. The narrative involves a teacher (Ms. Loften) who sends her students (Bunchy, Percy, Michelle, Jesse and Chen) back in time to explore these civilizations. The students begin their journey in the Nile Valley, where they meet an Egyptian boy (Rameses) who guides them on a tour of Africa. They explore Kemet (Egypt), Nubia, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Congo, Zimbabwe and Zulu.
The objectives of Meltrek are to:
* Preserve African American history – Major publishing companies are altering African American history in textbooks by omitting and distorting facts.
* Foster self-awareness, self-esteem and solidarity – Studies have shown that the self-perception of African American children has been drastically affected by a Eurocentric education.
* To project positive images of African-Americans into the national consciousness – For centuries the media has propagated racial caricatures of African-Americans from bug-eyed minstrels, watermelon eating pickneys, sly mammies and sambos to current images seen in rap music videos, reality television shows and nightly news reports.
Meltrek was officially released in October 2014. It has since sold in twenty-four states in the United States and six countries around the world. Meltrek themed products such as DVDs, coloring books, and unit plans for educators are available for purchase at www.edanimeproductions.com. You can also connect with EdAnime Productions on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: Black News