SPOTLIGHT! On Realistic Portrayals of Indigenous People
For decades, animated children’s stories included negative stereotypes of indigenous people. Now three new cartoons are reaching children with realistic portrayals on the small screen—where they consume most of their media.
In the United States and Latin America, Netflix is running the animated film Pachamama. The story centers on a 10-year-old boy in an Andean village who dreams of becoming a shaman. His people suffer under both the Spanish conquest and the Incan Empire. “It’s told from the point of view of the Indigenous people,” says Juan Antin, who is from Argentina, and wrote and directed the film. He says he wanted to give a realistic view of domination in the region.
The Cartoon Network series Victor and Valentino features two half brothers in a fictitious Mesoamerican village, exploring myths that come to life. For example, they follow the dog Achi into the land of the dead, where they encounter a chupacabra and other legends. Animator Diego Molano, whose heritage is Mexican, Colombian, and Cuban, began drawing his characters in college. He says that with this series, he wanted to share the folktales his grandfather used to tell him.
The We Are America Project has engendered powerful, honest stories by high school students about their lives in America. The project was started by 18 students from Lowell High School (in Lowell, Massachusetts), who are working with teachers and young people across the country to define what it means to be American.
The BlackPast provides a global audience with reliable and accurate information on the history of African Americans and of people of African ancestry around the world. The compilation and concentration of these diverse resources allow BlackPast to serve as the “Google” of African American history.
Read in Color is bringing diverse books to Little Free Library book-sharing boxes around the world. The program has four key components: Read in Color pledge; Little Free Library installations; Free diverse books; and Recommended reading lists.