Black cartoons and films have played an important role in the world of animation and have helped to showcase the diversity and richness of Black culture. These cartoons have provided a platform for Black creators and artists to share their stories and experiences with a wider audience.
Classic shows like The Proud Family and Static Shock have given the Black community representation in the animation world. Historically, Black characters have been underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream media. These crucial Black cartoons have helped to address this issue. Some of these popular shows also serve as positive role models for Black children and help to counter negative stereotypes and harmful biases.
Black cartoons have also tackled important social issues that are often ignored in mainstream media. Cartoons such as The Boondocks and Black Dynamite have used humor and satire to address issues of race, politics and social justice. These cartoons provide a unique perspective on these issues and help to spark important conversations about them.
In addition to addressing social issues, Black cartoons and films have also celebrated Black culture and history. Shows such as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids showcase the diversity of the Black experience and highlight the contributions of Black people to society. These cartoons help to promote pride and identity and encourage young Black people to celebrate their heritage.
Furthermore, these animated shows provide important opportunities for Black creators and artists, helping them to increase representation in the animation industry and provide a platform for Black voices to be heard. Black creators and artists bring their unique experiences and perspectives to their work, enriching the world of animation and creating new opportunities for future generations.
Here are a few iconic Black cartoons that have been a vital part of promoting equity, inclusivity and diversity in the animated world.
Kid And Play
This cartoon brought the energy of the “House Party” movies and Kid And Play music for a short-lived TV show.
The Harlem Globetrotters
Besides being flamboyant trick-heavy basketball players, the Globetrotters also saved the world from evil villains too. Who knew?
Besides being a wrestler and an actor Mr. T was also a gymnastics coach who used his students to stop villains and their evil plots.
Eddie Murphy made this cartoon (claymation really) one of the funniest and most underrated Black cartoons despite the stereotypes.
Blokhedz is a dope cartoon by the Madtwinz. Originally a comic book, the show never aired on TV but garnered a large following online and through its comic books and action figures. The show combined hip hop, science fiction, and comic books to create a dope cartoon.
Static Shock (2000-2004)
This superhero series follows the adventures of Virgil Hawkins, a high school student who gains electromagnetic powers after being exposed to a mutagenic gas. The show was notable for featuring a Black superhero as the lead character.
The Proud Family (2001-2005)
The Proud Family is a Disney Channel animated series that follows the lives of the Proud family, an African American family living in a fictionalized version of Southern California. The show deals with issues of race, class, and family dynamics with a lighthearted touch.
3. The Jackson 5 Cartoon
Great music, funny likeable cartoons made for a great Saturday morning cartoon show.
The Boondocks (2005-2014)
The satirical animated series follows the adventures of the Freeman family as they navigate life in a predominantly white suburb. The show tackles issues of race, politics and pop culture with a sharp wit and biting humor.
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972-1985)
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is a classic cartoon series that features a group of African American children who learn valuable life lessons from the wise and affable Fat Albert.
Black Dynamite (2011-2015)
Black Dynamite is a parody of Blaxploitation films. The hilarious cartoon follows the titular character as he battles crime in 1970s Los Angeles. The show is a funny send-up of the genre, complete with over-the-top action sequences and groovy music.
The Cleveland Show (2009-2013)
This Family Guy spin-off series follows the adventures of Cleveland Brown, a Black character from the original series. The show tackles issues of race and identity with a mix of humor and heart.
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
The Princess and the Frog is a Disney animated film that tells the story of Tiana, a young African American woman who dreams of owning her own restaurant. The movie was notable for featuring Disney’s first Black princess.
Bebe’s Kids (1992)
Based on the comedy routine of the same name by Robin Harris, the animated movie follows a group of unruly children who cause chaos at an amusement park.
Fillmore! (2002 – 2004)
Fillmore! was an animated television series that aired on Disney Channel from 2002 to 2004. The show was created by Scott M. Gimple and directed by Christian Roman and Vince Commisso.
The series highlights the adventures of Cornelius Fillmore, a former delinquent turned Safety Patrol officer at X Middle School. Along with his partner, Ingrid Third, Fillmore works to solve various crimes and mysteries that occur on the school campus.
Waynehead (1996 -1997)
Waynehead was an animated television series that aired on Kids’ WB from 1996 to 1997. The show was created by Damon Wayans and was loosely based on his own childhood experiences growing up in a large family in New York City.
The series follows the adventures of a young boy named Damien “Damey” Wayne, who goes by the nickname “Waynehead.” Waynehead is the middle child in a family of ten children and lives in a small apartment in Harlem with his mother and siblings. Despite facing many challenges, including poverty and racism, Waynehead remains optimistic.
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