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Netflix has found a new way to highlight Black stories for young readers.
The streaming service has set a video series, Bookmarks, hosted by #1000BlackGirlBooks founder Marley Dias, 15, featuring stars like Tiffany Haddish, Lupita Nyong’o and Marsai Martin reading children’s books from Black authors that highlight the Black experience.
The collection of 12, five-minute, live-action videos will go live on Netflix and the Netflix Jr. YouTube channel on Sept. 1, with additional book recommendations, resource guides and videos at NetflixBookmarks.com.
Dias, who also serves as executive producer, said in a statement, “The work I do with #1000BlackGirlBooks exists in the literary space, and I am so happy to promote diversity and tell stories of girls like me through a new medium.”
Professor and children’s media consultant Kevin A. Clark, who serves as creative producer, added, “This series creates a vehicle for children and families to begin to have conversations around concepts of racial identity and social justice through prolific Black voices. I’m excited to be part of a project that leverages the power of Black storytellers and provides an opportunity for children to see themselves and their communities on screen.”
Fracaswell Hyman (Little Bill and The Famous Jett Jackson) serves as showrunner, director and executive producer on the Jesse Collins Entertainment project. Executive producers include Collins, Dionne Harmon, David E. Talbert and Lyn Sisson-Talbert.
The streamer is also partnering with First Book to donate and distribute copies of each of the books featured in the collection to educators serving kids in need in the U.S. and internationally.
The project comes as people have turned to books about the Black experience to educate themselves amid an ongoing movement for racial justice. The books and conversations featured in Bookmarks will explore themes of identity, respect, justice and action, allowing families to further discuss those topics.
A complete list of the books, authors and readers featured in Bookmarks follows:
Tiffany Haddish reads I Love My Hair
Written by: Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, Illustration by: E.B. Lewis
Grace Byers reads I Am Enough
Written by: Grace Byers, Illustration by: Keturah A. Bobo
Caleb McLaughlin reads Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Written by: Derrick Barnes, Illustration by: Gordon C. James
Lupita Nyong’o reads Sulwe
Written by: Lupita Nyong’o, Illustration by: Vashti Harrison
Marsai Martin reads ABC’s For Girls Like Me
Written by: Melanie Goolsby, Illustration by: Princess Kay
Karamo Brown reads I Am Perfectly Designed
Written by: Karamo Brown, Illustration by: Anoosha Syed
Jill Scott reads Pretty Brown Face and Brown Boy Joy
Written by: Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illustration by: Brian Pinkney
Written by: Thomishia Booker, Illustration by: Thomishia Booker
Misty Copeland reads Firebird
Written by: Misty Copeland, Illustration by: Christopher Myers
Common reads Let’s Talk About Race
Written by: Julius Lester, Illustration by: Karen Barbour
Jacqueline Woodson reads The Day You Begin
Written by: Jacqueline Woodson, Illustration by: Rafael Lopez
Kendrick Sampson reads Anti-Racist Baby
Written by: Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Illustration by: Ashley Lukashevsky
Marley Dias reads We March
Written by: Shane W. Evans, Illustration by: Shane W. Evans
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