Disney Junior series aims to give a kid’s-eye view of race

Entertainment
Questlove, Black Thought

FILE – Questlove, left, and Black Thought attend the Broadway opening night of “Hamilton” on Aug. 6, 2015, in New York. “Rise Up, Sing Out,” an animated shorts series presenting the concepts of race, racism and social justice to young viewers, is coming to Disney Junior. Designed for children ages 2 to 7 and their families, the series will include music by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots, who are executive producers with Latoya Raveneau. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Rise Up, Sing Out,” an animated shorts series presenting the concepts of race, racism and social justice to young viewers, is coming to Disney Junior.

Designed for children ages 2 to 7 and their families, the series will include music by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots, who are executive producers with Latoya Raveneau.

“We hope these shorts will encourage the young audience to recognize and celebrate our differences as human beings while learning the tools to navigate real-world issues of racial injustice,” Thompson and Trotter said in a joint statement Tuesday.

They said their hope is to “empower and uplift the future generations in the way we know best, through music.”

“Rise Up, Sing Out,” produced in collaboration with Oscar-winning studio Lion Forge Animation (“Hair Love”), will debut this year on Disney Junior platforms including the channel and app. A date wasn’t announced.

Disney Junior recognizes that children are “experiencing a multitude of feelings around what’s happening in our world today” and that families are struggling to discuss “sensitive issues around race,” said Joe D’Ambrosia, its general manager and a senior vice president.

The shorts are intended to give families “the tools and knowledge to address these important topics with their preschoolers in an age-appropriate manner through music and relatable kid experiences,” he said in a statement.

A viewing guide for parents is being developed for parents by The Conscious Kid, described on its website as an organization “dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth.”

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