It’s all about the next generation!
Because of Them, We Can is proud to welcome Karma Grant, the star of Netflix’s “Karma’s World,” as its first and most animated guest editor. In this role, the lyrically gifted 10-year-old curated a list that shines a bright light on other young Black kids who have blazed their own trail as an inventor, creator or changemaker.
“Karma's World” was based on a concept by hip-hop icon/actor Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, who was inspired by his eldest daughter Karma Bridges and her active imagination as a child. In the animated musical series, the small but mighty aspiring artist takes young viewers on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to find her voice, pursue her big rap dreams, while also learning how to conquer difficult situations.
"When it was time to find a partner for Karma's 12 Young Black History Makers list I knew it had to be Because of Them We Can," Bridges said. "Eunique and her family started a movement and are bringing Black excellence to the forefront and to our feeds every day of every month of the year. When kids can see that, they know they can be that. You're never too young to change the world."
Like Karma, the 12 honorees on her list demonstrate C.L.A.S.S (Creativity, Leadership, Ambition, Sustainability, and Supportiveness) and remind us that you’re never too young to pursue your dreams – or even change the world. In fact, most of the featured honorees started their inspirational journey before the age of 10. Here’s Karma’s Spotlight of 12 Young Black History Makers.
1. Nyla Hayes
Hayes is a 13-year-old digital artist who has sold over four million dollars in NFTs. She has cultivated her craft since the age of four when she first started to draw. Since then, Hayes has made history as TIME’s first Artist-in-Residence and launched a collection called Long Neckie Ladies – inspired by her favorite dinosaur, the Brontosaurus.
2. Ava Marie Jean Wayans
Ava is building on her family legacy as she serves as the Junior Designer for Pastry, a clothing line created by her mother and aunt, Vanessa and Angela Simmons. This makes the eight-year-old the youngest member on the team.
3. Mari Copeny
At just eight years old, Mari wrote a letter to President Obama about Flint, Michigan’s water crisis – which led to Obama visiting the city and later approving $100 million dollars in relief for the city. Mari didn’t stop there. Globally known as “Little Miss Flint,’ Mari continues to advocate for change and give back to the people in her hometown.
4. Havana Chapman Edwards
Havana is a 11-year-old activist who serves as the founder and executive director of Girls Have Rights, a youth-led organization providing human rights and equal access to education for girls worldwide. Raising over $40,000 between 2018 and 2019, Havana has helped provide books, school supplies, clothing and transportation to girls across the world.
5. Kendall Rae Johnson
6-year-old Kendall made her way into the history books when she became Georgia’s youngest certified farmer. She is also a business owner, partnering with her parents to launch “aGrowKulture,” which provides kids with the tools they need to grow their own food.
6. Verity Ofori-Kuragu
Verity is a 4-year-old entrepreneur who founded “My Beyoutiful Identity by Verity,” an Etsy shop that sells African print accessories. In addition to earrings and tote bags, Verity’s store also includes her “Baby Verity'' doll that comes with an African fabric outfit.
7. Prince Ofori-Kuragu
8-year-old Prince has turned his passion of making soaps into a full-fledged business, creating an Etsy shop called “Playfully on Purpose” – which sells hand soaps that includes a small toy inside for kids.
8. Caleb Anderson
13-year-old Caleb is not only the youngest aerospace engineering student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, but he is also the youngest student on Georgia Tech’s campus. After previously taking courses at Chattahoochee Technical College, Caleb started his college career at Georgia Tech as a sophomore.
9. Keedron Bryant
Keedron is a 14-year-old artist whose powerful performance about being a young Black man in today’s society touched the hearts of millions. Since then, Keedron has signed a record deal and continued to cultivate his talent.
10. Zaila Avant-garde
Zaila is the first African-American winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, making history in 2021 with the winning word “murraya.” The 14-year-old is also a basketball phenom, holding the Guinness
Books of World records for: the most bounce juggles in one minute with four basketballs, the most basketball bounces in 30 seconds with four basketballs, and ties of the record for most basketballs dribbled at once.
11. Kashe Quest
With an IQ of 146, Kashe made history as the youngest member accepted into the American Mensa organization. The three-year-old already knows more than 50 signs in sign language and can identify all 50 states by shape and location on a map, as well as identify elements on the periodic table by their symbols.
12. Grace Moore
Grace is one of the youngest composers for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The 14-year-old discovered her love for music at two years old when her mother purchased a piano. Since then she’s been creating music and making history at the same time.
Let’s keep the list going! If you know a young Black history maker, inventor, creator or changemaker, please add their names to the comments below. Also, if you’re looking for more inspiration for your kids this Black History Month, be sure to watch or rewatch episodes to see how Karma, Keys, Switch, and Winston are changing the world.