Review all of the press coverage received to date for the Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Exhibition National Museum Tour.
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.
Fat Albert, Schoolhouse Rock, The Harlem Globetrotters: with their retro animation styles, these 1970s cartoons seem dated now, but in their time, they were groundbreaking.
Think of trailblazing black TV shows, and The Cosby Show immediately comes to mind. But before the Cliff Huxtable, there was Fat Albert, Bill Cosby’s beloved animated creation that became famous for his catchphrase, “Hey, hey, hey!”
The mission of the Museum Of UnCut Funk is to “preserve funky Black Cultural artifacts and history for future generations.”
Just in time for Black History Month, a new exhibition in Harlem looks at the rise of black characters on classic Saturday morning cartoons. NY1’s Roger Clark filed the following report.
The Museum Of UnCut Funk and our Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Exhibition National Museum Tour was recently covered in the Black History Month Supplement of USA Today.
Pre-Boomerang/Cartoon Network, when there were only three major networks (CBS, NBC and ABC), part of the television ritual for kids during the 1970s was Saturday morning cartoons.
On February 2, 2014 our Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Exhibition at the Schomburg Center was mentioned on the ABC 7 NY community affairs program Here and Now.
The Museum Of UnCut Funk visited the FanBros Show to talk about our Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Exhibition at the Schomburg Center. Kimsonian from FanBros came to our Curator’s Talk and to see the exhibition.
Hey Hey Hey! New Animation-Inspired Exhibit, Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution to Open at Schomburg Center February 5th.
Our Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Exhibition National Museum Tour was recently covered by Tanya Ballard Brown for NPR’s Code Switch blog. Below is Tanya’s article, which includes her conversation with legendary animator Leo Sullivan, who worked on the Fat Albert cartoon special and series and several other 1970’s cartoons that featured positive Black characters.
The Peanuts cartoon franchise started in the early 1950s and is one of the most famous and influential cartoon series of all time. Because Peanuts was featured primarily in comic strips in the Sunday newspaper and later in films and television specials, its target audience is family friendly, with both children and adults taking part. In 1968, which was also in the heat of the civil rights movement, a new character, Franklin, was introduced into the Sunday comic strip. Because he was Black, Franklin made history and quickly became one of the most famous Black cartoon characters of all time.
Like many other venues in 1960s America, the comics page was essentially racially segregated. The diversification of the comics required the mainstream acceptance of Charles Schulz’ Peanuts and the persistent idealism of one of its readers.
In the summer of 1968, Charles Schulz decided not to take the path of least resistance and introduce the world to Franklin, the first and only Black Peanuts character.
Franklin made his first Peanuts comic strip appearance on August 1, 1968 in a short run of four comic strips which lasted three days. Franklin did not reappear until October 15, 1968. Check out the lost comic strips of Franklin from Peanuts.
Franklin, the sole Black member of the Peanuts ensemble, is sitting all by himself on one side of the table.
2012 Toonseum Exhibition
The Museum Of UnCut Funk successfully completed it’s first showing of Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution at the ToonSeum in Pittsburgh, Pa. They have a beautiful space and we were very excited to have worked with them to kick off this historically important traveling exhibition.