Black history is far from proportionately or accurately taught in schools as a historical rule, representations of minority cultures are all but absent in children’s programming and literature, but the books and upcoming Netflix series, Ada Twist, are working to change that.
When I was younger, I didn't often see a lot of characters who looked like me on TV or in movies. I know that was the case for so many girls and boys, too. So I hope you’ll watch Ada Twist, Scientist with your family on @Netflix!
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) November 26, 2021
Representation is important, particularly for children who are forming their ideas and perceptions of themselves and their place in the world. Black children rarely appeared in children’s educational and entertainment materials, with Doc Stuffins, a black female doctor, just recently attempting to change that.
A book series from 2016, Ada Twist, focuses on a young black girl who loves science and teaches it through fictional stories that entertain children. As laudable as the book series itself is, the Netflix series based on the books is now accessible for younger children. First, though, is introducing the character to draw children’s interest to the show.
On Thanksgiving Day at the Macy’s parade, Ada Twist appeared as a balloon flying over New York City. Some children saw her as a familiar face, but others were seeing her for the first time.
Former first lady Michelle Obama was thrilled to see the float. As a woman of color, Obama noted that she didn’t often see images that looked like her on television, much less positive characters who did important work. Ada speaks to the need for representation, and her appearance at the Thanksgiving parade will, hopefully, draw a lot more attention to the new, ground-breaking character.
Twitter was also happy to hear that Ada is becoming more visible. Read some of their comments below: