On Shadow And Act, nostalgia reigns supreme, and so does our love for the 1990s and 2000s. Who doesn't yearn for the days of waking up on Saturday morning with a big bowl of cereal to watch some of their favorite cartoons? In honor of the bygone era, here's our list of 9 our favorite Black cartoon characters.
1. Vince LaSalle on Recess
In Recess, Vince LaSalle was the athlete in his group of friends as well as one of the most popular characters in Third Street School. However, Vince was also relatable in the fact that he was prone to insecurity regarding people's perceptions of him.
2. Miranda Killgallen on As Told By Ginger
As voiced by Cree Summer, Miranda was the resident mean girl of As Told By Ginger. As Courtney Gripling's best friend, Miranda possessed a deep hatred for Ginger largely due to envy and the fact she feels her BFF pays more attention to her. Miranda even went as far to coerce Ginger into robbing a bank then had her arrested, all on the same night. Her stern nature might be attributed to growing up with a military sergeant as her Dad. However, this Black mean girl had layers, charisma and a chilling laugh that wrapped it all up.
3. Gerald Johanssen on Hey Arnold!
On the beloved kids classic Hey Arnold!, Gerald Johanssen was the title character's right-hand man. Gerald was also the "keeper of urban legends," a skilled expert at the folklore surrounding the show's fictional setting, Hillwood City.
4. Numbuh 5 on Codename: Kids Next Door
When Numbah 1 wasn't around, Abigail "Numbah 5" Lincoln was the de facto leader of Sector Five of the Kids Next Door. The laid back tomboy was also the show's breakout character. She was level-headed, witty and an excelling student in school.
5. Penny Proud on The Proud Family
As voiced by Kyla Pratt, the lead character of The Proud Family was a regular Black girl exploring the cornerstones of adolescence: zany parents, even zanier friends and high school bullies. There was nothing to not like about Penny: she had integrity, was not afraid to stand up for herself and even challenged gender norms by auditioning for the boys football team at her school.
6. Susie Carmichael on Rugrats
As one of the first Black characters on Rugrats, Susie Carmichael was one big kid who wasn't afraid to stand up to Angelica. Much to Angelica's chagrin, Susie was also a talented singer and beloved by Tommy, Chuckie, Phil and Lil.
7. Skeeter Valentine on Doug
Say what you want, but in our humble opinion, Doug's best friend Mosquito "Skeeter" Valentine was always coded as Black. From the character's constant beatboxing to teaching Doug how to dance, the writing was on the wall for many viewers, despite his blue skin. He was also the first character to make Doug feel welcomed in his new home of Bluffington.
8. Cornelius C. Fillmore on Fillmore!
On the short-lived Disney animated series, Fillmore was a member of the Safety Patrol, a group of middle schoolers who solved child-friendly versions of common crimes. As emphasized by the clip above, Fillmore was also a straight shooter.
Photo: Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network