Children of African descent are being musically neglected and ignored. In fact, there is no national children’s music programming in the Black community. Today’s children’s music genre caters to the dominant culture, which predominantly plays folk and pop music.
Musician and teaching artist, Uncle Devin is changing that by launching, “I Am W.E.E. Nation” radio – the first 24/7 online music radio station dedicated to children of African descent and beyond. W.E.E. stands for Watoto (which is a Swahili word that means “children”). Entertainment & Education provides age and culturally appropriate children’s music of different genres beyond the mainstream, including Hip-Hop, Funk, Jazz, Go-Go, Reggae and more. And best of all, if you have an internet connection, it’s free to listen.
Have you ever rode with your children in the car and suddenly found yourself fumbling with the radio buttons when something inappropriate came over the airwaves? You are not alone. Many parents, teachers, and guardians of children of African descent don’t know where to go to find culturally appropriate music for their children, nor do they know it even exists. Even worse, the black community, including Black-owned radio stations, don’t control the music that Black children hear, especially in the children’s music genre.
“Have you ever rode with your children in the car and suddenly found yourself fumbling with the radio buttons when something inappropriate came over the airwaves?”
I Am W.E.E. Nation helps parents take control of their children’s music listening experience by sharing music and spoken word by artists of African descent and beyond from around the world, both past and present.
According to Uncle Devin,
“The children’s music scene in the Black community is virtually non-existent. Moreover, we do not regulate what children of African descent listen to when it comes to music. Much too often, children are subjected to what I call, ‘Music Adultification,’ which is a process where our children are forced to listen to inappropriate adult music that often references sex and violence, and does not help them grow socially or culturally. ‘I Am WEE Nation’ is offering an educational and entertaining musical option that will help our children know, love and do for themselves.”
Don’t expect to hear your typical nursery rhymes or the dumbing down of the music either. On the contrary, you will hear high quality sounds from top children’s music artists in the world, such as Uncle Devin (a.k.a., the Children’s Drumcussionist), Grammy-nominated The Alphabet Rockers, Latin Grammy winner 123 With Andres, Jazzy Ash, Grammy winner Father Goose, Groovy Nate, Culture Queen, Big Don, Rissi Palmer and the First Lady of children’s music, Ella Jenkins. Additionally, you will hear children’s music by more mainstream artists such as Solange Knowles (Beyonce’s sister), Andre 3000, Ziggy Marley, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Ella Fitzgerald and Take 6.
Listen to I Am W.E.E. Nation 24/7
I Am W.E.E. Nation has partnered with the National Association of Black Storytellers to create Our Story, a weekly segment that will educate and entertain children and families through oral tradition, which depicts and documents the African and African-American experience. Other upcoming weekly programs will include Book Time, that will focus on children’s books by and for people of African descent by having authors read their books on air. It will also include brief interludes of children reading poetry or highlighting important figures and organizations in Black history. They have also partnered with the National Black Child Development Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Mass Emphasis Children’s History & Theater Company.
Uncle Devin is the owner of The Uncle Devin Show®, an interactive musical experience that uses drums and percussion to cultivate children’s minds, a dynamic cross between DC’s Trouble Funk and Schoolhouse Rock. He is also the host of his own Radio One talk show, under the same name, on WOL’s 1450 AM/95.9 FM in Washington, D.C., and a proud sponsor of the 1st Annual Urban One Honors Awards, which aired on TV One in February 2019.
According to Uncle Devin,
“Children learn by watching, listening, and especially doing. It is our responsibility to develop and design music (and art) programs, that will help us foster the larger movement of change necessary for all children to live in a safe and inclusive society. We need community control over what our children listen to musically every day, which is a very important tool towards self-determination and cultural awareness.”