A couple of legendary animators used their combined 100 years of knowledge to create a website for Black youth.
Black News reported Black cartoonists Leo D. Sullivan launched AfroKids.com, in collaboration with friend Floyd Norman. The website will both educate and entertain Black kids on their culture.
The move is a change for both animators. Sullivan’s 50-year career spans work with studios including Hanna-Barbera, DIC and Marvel Productions. While working for such companies, Sullivan drew for episodes of “The Flintstones,” “Scooby-Doo,” and “Fat Albert,” to name a few. The animator did not just focus on illustrations for his entire career. He also traveled the globe to oversee studios in Europe and Asia.
Norman, who will provide stories and creative opinions to AfroKids.com, had a five-decade career, too. He came through many of the same studios as Sullivan. But the bulk of his time lasted with Disney and Pixar. “Mulan” and “Toy Story 2” are just two of his contributions to the animation giants.
Additionally, Sullivan and Norman both worked together on the original “Soul Train” logo and children’s television program “Sesame Street.”
Since Sullivan and Norman launched Vignette Multimedia to focus on education initiatives in 1966, it made sense for the pair to create AfroKids.com.
The interactive, family-focused website aims to increase “our children’s self-esteem and cultural heritage with positive images teaching life lessons, family values, respect, and responsibility,” according to the website.
In a 2014 interview with Museum Of UnCut Funk, Sullivan discussed a game called Tuskegee Redtails. It is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first Black aviators.
“It’s an application. It’s a game animation. 3D,” he explained. “We have a website called AfroKids.com. If you go to that website that’s sort of a prelude to what it is that I am talking about that we are going to be doing in animation.”
Today, the game is still on Afrokids.com along with stories, folk tales and educational videos about topics like the six kingdoms of Africa.