Written by: Coco Yancey
Edited by: Marrista K. Stubbs
Unfortunately, there aren’t enough animations that cover the serious topics we as minorities face in our daily lives. One of these issues has been thrust into the spotlight recently but should have been discussed in every home long before this escalation.
We, now more than ever, need to educate our newer generations about the history of this country and its people so we don’t repeat it. A lot of parents, elders, and even friends don’t feel comfortable having that kind of talk or just don’t know how to. One of the best ways, in my opinion, to introduce this conversation is through animation. Bright colors, silly characters, but also serious messages and lessons that can help your child or friend understand race and how people treat it.
If you’re looking for resources to help educate your young (and grown) friends, take a look at this list of 4 animations that address the topic of racism and discrimination in our community.
- Ojamajo Doremi (Magical DoReMi)
Ojamajo Doremi, or Magical DoReMi in English, is a Japanese magical girl anime that first aired in 1999 about a young witch’s apprentice. This anime really shocked me. I was not expecting it to see such an open conversation about stereotyping and race in a show made for children. In this clip we see one of the characters, Momoko, come to the defense of her best friend, Beth. Watch to see for yourself.
2. Young Black Jack
This 2015 anime follows the story of Black Jack, a medical student in the 60s. Episode 7 specifically focuses on the black experience and the struggles we faced at that time, and even today. Watch episodes on CrunchyRoll.
3. The Proud Family
Most of the 90’s babies I know grew up watching The Proud Family as it was an extremely popular cartoon airing on the Disney Channel for four years. It was even made into a movie and is being recontinued on Disney+ as The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder! It was also the only cartoon at the time featuring an all-black family voiced by an all-black cast. During a very memorable Black History month episode; the main character, Penny Proud, goes back to a time when desegregation was new and racial tensions were at their highest.
4. The Boondocks
While the last 3 animations mentioned all address the topic of race in a light, kid-friendly way; The Boondocks is NOT kid-friendly and takes a different approach toward discussing race. This show is a social satire highlighting all of American culture and race relations. It handles serious real-world issues but in a completely over-exaggerated way. From characters like Uncle Rukus (a black man who believes he’s white and hates his own people) to Riley Freeman (young wannabe thug) to Tom Dubois (the “oreo” of the Black community), The Boondocks leaves no generalization untouched. You can watch episodes on Adult Swim.
Overall, it’s important for us to educate ourselves and be comfortable talking about the subject of race and how it’s treated in America and abroad. There are many approaches to having those talks in your own home and we hope some of the examples we’ve provided can help you do that! If you have any suggestions or know other great examples of shows that address and fight discrimination, let us know. Or share your thoughts on how and if animations should be covering this topic at all. Stay safe!