Netflix has commissioned a new series highlighting Black authors and children’s stories its SVOD platform and Netflix Jr. YouTube channel. Produce by Jesse Collins Entertainment, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices is a live-action series featuring prominent Black celebrities and artists reading children’s books from Black authors.
Premiering September 1, the 12 x five-minute show is hosted by Marley Dias (pictured, author and founder of the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign). The series will cover topics about identity, respect, justice and action. Additional resources will be available at the Netflix Bookmarks website.
Some of the hosts include prominent actors such as Tiffany Haddish, Lupita Nyong’o, Karamo Brown, Common and Misty Copeland. They will be reading books such as ABC’s For Girls Like Me by Melanie Goolsby, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Anti-Racist Baby by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi.
On top of her hosting duties, Dias is serving as an executive producer. Fracaswell Hyman is the showrunner, director and EP on the project and will be joined by several other EPs, including Jesse Collins, Dionne Harmon, David E. Talbert and Lyn Sisson-Talbert. Professor and children’s media consultant, Kevin A. Clark is serving as a creative producer on the series. Clark wrote an article for Kidscreen earlier this year on how to move beyond tokenism in kids entertainment.
Netflix is also partnering with nonprofit First Book to donate and distribute copies of each of the books to educators serving kids in need across the US and in select international markets.