40 of the Most Interesting Animated Black Characters Ever to Hit Television

There are very few animated TV shows that have compelling and memorable Black characters at the forefront. In the 1990s and early 2000s, there were Black people dominating the cinemas, live-action TV and animated television. Now that we are 15 years into the new millennium, that small number has become microscopic. Will there be more great Black animated TV shows in the near future?  That is unknown, but we can take a look at those who have made an impact on children and adult lives. However, characters like Cleveland Brown of The Cleveland Show will not be featured on this list because he is voiced by a white actor. Also characters from 2000s’ DC Comics shows like Cyborg from Teen Titans, Aqualad from Young Justice, John Stewart from Justice League: The Animated Series, Static Shock and Bumble Bee from Teen Titans and Young Justice have been covered on Blerds before so they won’t be on the list. Moreover, here are some of the most interesting Black animated characters.

The Prouds star in ``The Proud Family'' Thursday on Family  Channel.

The Entire Cast of Proud Family

This early 2000s animated series was created by animator Bruce W. Smith for the Disney Channel. The star of the show was actress Kyla Pratt as high school teen Penny Proud. We followed her misadventures with her friends and wacky — yet loving — family.


The Entire Cast of Fat Albert

Comedian Bill Cosby created this animated show in 1972 when there weren’t a lot of Black animated characters on TV. The series was animated by Hanna-Barbara Studios and it lasted until 1985 with 110 episodes in total.

Is It Important for Women of Color to See Ourselves on the TV Screen? Absolutely!

As a Black woman who consumes a substantial amount of television, it is invaluable to see images of women and people of color on the small screen.

My flat screen invites my favorite fandoms into my living room and provides an experience that I hope can be both entertaining and fulfilling. However, when it comes to diversity, I have noticed that slowly women and people of color are taking on protagonist roles that we haven’t quite seen before. As a TV viewer, I wouldn’t exactly say that my diversity appetite is fully satiated. In fact, I still hunger for more women who look like me on television. But there are shows that are slowly coming into the fold that are creating characters who look like the people I see walking around my neighborhood every day. Characters who look like people I see at a shopping mall, waiting for my flight at the airport, or riding a NYC subway train.

Racial diversity on television within the last several years has been sparse or relatively nonexistent, depending on which network you elect to watch. Seeing more white faces than faces of color is sadly becoming the status quo. In fact it seems since the ‘80s and 90’s TV shows are actually getting whiter. The monolith of whiteness is both discouraging and dismissive to many non-white fans who want to see images of characters who look like them.

Read more from Jamie Broadnax: blackgirlnerds.com