'Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History’ on Netflix is funny, educational

In a new Netflix special, “Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History,” available now, the actor and comedian is tackling a new role: Educator. The one-hour special explores the lives of unsung black heroes through a series of reenactments. Viewers learn about such people as arctic explorer Matthew Henson , astronaut Mae Jemison and performer-turned-Allied-spy Josephine Baker .

Hart has faced recent controversy after he stepped down as this year’s Oscars host following uproar over past homophobic tweets and comments . Last fall, he faced backlash for throwing a “Cowboys and Indians” party for his son Kenzo’s first birthday.

In a bit of a twist for Hart’s brand, “Guide to Black History” is geared toward kids and families, with layers of Hart talking among a series of longer renactments. It's a refreshing way to teach kids, not only because there are jokes instead of a list of dry facts (plus actual production value), but because the subjects aren't the usual suspects.

One of the first things Hart says in the special is "There’s so much more to black history than peanuts," referring to George Washington Carver's pioneering agricultural work that's taught in elementary classrooms across American classrooms.