Astrea was the first Black female superhero featured in a Saturday Morning Cartoon series, the Space Sentinels. Roman mythological figures Hercules and Mercury were joined by Astrea, one of the most respected and esteemed goddesses of the Greek and Roman world to form a superhero team to protect mankind.
Chris and Christy Cross are Micro Woman and Super Stretch, a fictional, shape-shifting, husband and wife crime fighting team. They were the first Black Superhero duo to appear in a Saturday Morning Cartoon.
The character Fat Albert first appeared in Bill Cosby’s stand-up comedy routine “Buck Buck,” as recorded on his 1967 album Revenge. The stories were based upon Cosby’s tales about growing up in inner city North Philadelphia. In 1969, Cosby and veteran animator Ken Mundie brought Fat Albert to animation in a one-shot prime-time special entitled Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert. The special, which aired on NBC, was a hybrid of live-action and animation.
In April 1972, Gold Key Comics launched a comic adaptation of the Harlem Globetrotters animated series; their first comic book appearance was in issue #8 of Gold Key’s Hanna-Barbera Fun-In, published in July 1971.
Who could forget the days of Cheech and Chong. Up In Smoke and all the rest of their comedy reflected their hippie and drug based roots. Among their more famous routines was Basketball Jones, a song which was sung in falsetto by Cheech Marin, playing the title character Tyrone (as in “tie-your-own”) Shoelaces.
Lt Uhura was the first positive Black character from a TV series to appear as that character in a Saturday morning cartoon series.
From the minds of Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca, the Afrodisiac phenomena got it’s start in 2005 as short stories and anthologies. Jim Rugg, co-creator of the Afrodisiac comic series, recently stated in an interview with Comic Book Resources “ We try to capture the style and energy of the great Blaxploitation movies”.
So it took the election of the first Black President, a beautiful Black first lady and two Black tween girls living in the White House for Disney to make a Black princess movie.
“Josie and the Pussycats!
Long tails — and ears for hats!
Guitars in sharps and flats!
Neat, sweet, a groovy song! You’re invited, come along!”
The Museum of UnCut Funk pays homage to Valerie Brown, the first positive Black female character in a Saturday morning animated cartoon series, Josie and the Pussy Cats.
Palestine native Ralph Bakshi was raised in Brooklyn, New York. A talented artist, Bakshi worked at the Terrytoons animation studio, directed episodes of Deputy Dawg and James Hound and worked on the Hekyll and Jekyll and Mighty Mouse cartoons. In 1965, he put together The Mighty Heroes “superhero” TV cartoon series, featuring some of the most ridiculous superguys in history: Tornado Man, Cuckooman, Ropeman, Strongman, and Diaper Baby. Bakshi’s also worked on the Spiderman series.