I recently had an opportunity to speak with Leo Sullivan, one of the pioneering Black animators who helped lead the revolution of positive Black animated characters during the 1970’s. I interviewed Leo for close to an hour, spoke to him after the interview for a little longer. He was gracious, humorous and introspective. His bio and interview are below. It was an honor to speak to this Animation Legend.
Whether Americans like it or not, cartoons of the 30s and 40s, considered the Golden Age of Animation, were extremely racist. Cartoons made by Warner Brothers, Metro Goldwyn Mayor, Walter Lantz, and other animation studios, depicted ridiculous stereotypes of Blacks with disquieting regularity.