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.
This Peanuts comic strip was fairly typical of Charlie Brown’s half-hearted exasperation with an unfair world.
Not only does the world cease its relentless, playful torment of Charlie Brown, but the boy who tamps it down is Black and can swim. Because on July 31, 1968, Schulz introduced the world to Franklin. May not seem like much, but it’s as explicitly political as Peanuts ever ventures. Until, that is, August 1, 1968:
The father of Franklin, the Black boy who swims, is over in Vietnam. That second panel neatly illustrates how far Schulz strayed from his comfort zone. Charlie Brown’s father “was in a war, but [he doesn’t] know which one.” That’s the extent to which contemporary politics typically intruded the most popular daily comic in America. But for some reason, Schulz felt the need to contradict conventional racist wisdom that summer.
The racists responded in the manner befitting Wallace-backers: “I don’t mind you having a Black character, but please don’t show them in school together.” must’ve sucked to be a racist. That’s from May 13, 1970, two years after Schulz quietly integrated public schools. There’s much to admire in the matter-of-factness of Schulz’s racial politics…Franklin arrives, befriends Peppermint Patty, and plays football.
Unless, that is, you’re a fan of Dennis the Menace:
Source: Scott Kaufman
Franklin ©  Peanuts Worldwide LLC