The Degrassi Kids Rap On Rights (partially found Degrassi/UNICEF video co-production; 1989)
An image of a Playing With Time newsletter from 1989. The Rap On Rights video is discussed under the section of the same name.
Status: Partially found
The Degrassi Kids Rap on Rights was a ten-minute video produced by Playing With Time Inc, in co-operation with UNICEF, in 1989, coinciding with the November 20th, 1989 ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a tie-in to the Canadian teen drama television series Degrassi High, which had begun airing on CBC following Degrassi Junior High. The video was distributed to schools throughout Ontario and nationwide. The video appears to exist, but it has never been publicly uploaded online.
Background[edit | edit source]
In 1989, UNICEF director of communications Srinka Wallia approached the Degrassi producers, hoping that one of its actors could become an ambassador for UNICEF's Ontario branch. However, she was offered the entire cast (which comprised a repertory company) instead. The Degrassi cast appeared at public events, helped promote literacy, and did televised PSAs.
Content[edit | edit source]
The video, which runs for ten minutes, takes place in the Degrassi High cafeteria and allegedly consists of multi-ethnic extras from the cast speaking about their experiences in their home countries. It was narrated by Amanda Stepto, who played the spiky-haired teen mother Christine "Spike" Nelson, and was one of the show's most popular characters.
Availability[edit | edit source]
The existence of the video was mentioned in a Playing With Time newsletter, and in the book The Official 411: Degrassi Generations, written by Kathryn Ellis and released in 2005. However, despite the video allegedly being distributed to Canadian schools, the video has never been uploaded online, or available physically, except for one copy at the Queens University Documents Library in Kingston, Ontario.
A brief excerpt, featuring character BLT (Dayo Ade) rapping about being the "number one dude on Degrassi", is seen in The Degrassi Story documentary, that aired on CTV in 2005 and was hosted by long-running Degrassi actor Stefan Brogren.