By Dante' Maddox
|The Boondocks might just be the best thing to happen for Black people on TV since The Cosby Show.|
Back then, Black people needed something positive to look forward to on prime time television, but nowadays they just need a small dose of the truth. The truth comes in the form of a kid named Huey Freeman, who has grown tired of the way popular culture has portrayed black people amongst many other things.
Each episode deals with a different issue that the Black community is facing, and while it’s funny, there is a great deal of tough love included in every episode. The second season had the daunting task of topping the first which it did with classic episodes like Stinkmeaner Strikes Back and The Story of Thugnificent. Hopefully you made time to see the shows when they aired on Cartoon Network, but you’ll need to buy the DVD’s in order to see two special unaired episodes.
Hunger Strike makes it obvious immediately why it wasn’t aired in the US, you might consider it a bit anti BET. The show acts as a testament to the seriousness that underlies Aaron McGruder’s message about the plight of Black people in America. His brilliance shines through in his ability to show a multifaceted look at the Black experience. There really isn’t such a thing as ‘acting black’ and its insulting to assume that there is. McGruder shines a light on as many stereotypes as possible in an effort to make people think about what it means to be Black in America and therefore responsible for future generations. Where does BET fit into all this? McGruder feels that Black people should have higher quality programming from a network that calls itself Black Entertainment Television and he has a point.
The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show continues Aaron McGruder’s campaign against BET and takes aim at Reginald Hudlin (President of Entertainment for BET) in particular, which is interesting since Hudlin was at one time a producer of the show. In the episode Uncle Ruckus has his reality show picked up, and when the star of the show finds out that he is, in fact an African American, trouble ensues. While Uncle Ruckus can be a bit of a hard pill to swallow at times, he is vital for the show to make the arguments that it does. Ruckus’ issues shine a light on the duel nature of the Black experience in America, that Black people come in many different varieties, and especially from different points of view, and that no matter what they choose to label themselves as, they are still Black. By attempting to separate Black people based on how they behave we do ourselves a disservice and Aaaron McGruder and company point this out with a mix of humor and the hard truth.