SPOTLIGHT | THE BOONDOCKS
photo manipulation by nacrowe
as a white dude i'm careful not to overstep my bounds and pass judgement on another culture. buts thats not to say i can't appreciate someone from that community doing so, which is basically what THE BOONDOCKS (CARTOON NETWORK, 2005-2014) animated series on ADULT SWIM was for the AFRICAN-AMERICAN community during its initial run of four seasons. in my estimation, this series (which is based on show creator AARON MCGRUDER's syndicated comic strip of the same name) is one of the most intelligent extended examinations of society in the animated genre, only rivaled by SOUTH PARK.
first off, its more than obvious the amount of love MCGRUDER has for his community. just the sheer scope of the animated world he created, with several characters designed to showcase the fault-lines in his community, whether they be along traditional economic and generational divides or rival gangs/rap cliques that resemble each other more than they don't, each episode is a vignette of sorts into some aspect of examined daily life through the eyes of a black child.
and that childlike perspective is the real genius of the show. where other shows (THE SIMPSONS, FAMILY GUY) use children as props ineffective in affecting change in their communities, THE BOONDOCKS instead utilizes young brothers HUEY and RILEY FREEMAN as two young black boys attempting to figure out how to assimilate into AMERICAN culture after moving in with their grandfather into a white suburban neighborhood. their trials in making sense of black culture and establishing their own identity mirror that of the broader community as well.
could not recommend this show any stronger. just don't be an idiot and think that the language they used gives you permission to do so as well. sorry, doesnt work like that STATEN ISLAND, no matter what contrived justification you attempt to make. its called white privilege.