For a lot of us here in the United States, one of the best parts of growing up was watching cartoons. Many of us spent our Saturday mornings eating breakfast in front of our favorite shows. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of diversity in cartoons in the ’80s and ’90s. There were a handful of shows with Black narratives, but not a lot.
Times have definitely changed, and there is now a larger selection of Black family cartoons available to buy, rent, or stream. Take a look at some of our favorite cartoons that your kids and new generations will enjoy.
1. The Boondocks
The Boondocks wasn’t created to be a kid’s show, but most kids have watched at least some episodes of this satirical cartoon. The rawness and diversity displayed reached millions of viewers in the early 2000s and is still reaching the masses today.
2. The PJs
The PJs wasn’t so much cartoon as it is stop-motion animation, but it definitely makes the list. The PJs was created by Eddie Murphy and debuted in 1999. It features the antics of Thurgood Stubbs and his community in an urban public housing project. It was inspired by the Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago, IL.
3. The Proud Family
Produced in the early 2000s, The Proud Family quickly became a nationwide hit. Adults appreciate the humor and children enjoy the playful antics. The Proud Family is noted as being a healthy depiction of a suburban Black family in the U.S. Can’t get enough of the show? Don’t forget to watch The Proud Family Movie!
4. Static Shock
If you grew up as a fan of the DC comic universe, you definitely tuned in to Static Shock. The adventure begins when Virgil Hawkins is exposed to a mutagen gas that gives him electromagnetic powers. Virgil, also known as “Static”, was the first African-American superhero featured in their own animated series.
5. Little Bill
Despite any current opinions of Bill Cosby, there is no question that Little Bill was one of the most popular Black cartoons in the early 2000s. Little Bill focuses on the Glover family, including Little Bill, his parents, siblings, and great-grandmother. The show was inspired by Philadelphia, where Bill Cosby grew up. Throughout the series, you can follow Little Bill as he and his family navigate the big city and numerous life lessons.
Blokhedz was particularly popular among kids who also enjoyed comics and action figures. The comic and series were created by Madtwiinz, Mark, and Mike Davis. Blokhedz features a combination of angsty teenagers in the big city-meets- fantasy and magic. Even though the show was short-lived, there is a dedicated following to this day.
7. Nella and the Princess Knight
For the princess lovers, Nella and the Princess Knight offers whimsical and fun adventures of Nella, an 8-year-old princess. Nella can magically transform into a knight and go on amazing adventures with her friends. This is a newer cartoon, but definitely, one to watch and remember for years to come.
If you grew up watching these great Black cartoons, why not share that feeling of nostalgia with a new generation? You and your kids are sure to enjoy these seven great options for shows with Black narratives and lead characters.