Probably one of the greatest feelings in the world was sitting in front of the TV, with the biggest bowl of cereal possible watching Saturday Morning cartoons. Unfortunately that feeling isn't as prevelant nowadays for kids, as Saturday Morning cartoons aren't really a thing any longer. Due to cable channels like Cartoon Network and Boomerang not to mention streaming apps, cartoons are accessible anytime for today's kids.
Since Black History Month is all about what the culture brings to society and it is alot. I wanted to highlighted some forgotten cartoons that starred Black chraracters. We all know cartoons like The Jackson 5,Fat Albert, The Proud Family, Doc McStuffins, and Static Shock. Here are 7 cartoons featuring Black characters you may or may not know of or even remember.
C-Bear and Jamal
Debuting on Fox Kids in 1996, C-Bear and Jamal starred Tone Loc as a backwards cap rapping teddy bear named C Bear. C Bear becomes alive around Jamal and at times his friends, encouraging them and helping them outlandish child adventures. One of the highlights of the show was one of Jamal's best friends, Kwame. Kwame believed in conspricays and blamed everything on the "man", he was a hotep before that was a thing and as a 9 year old that makes it even more hilarious.
The cartoon only lasted for 13 episodes, which is weird because I could have sworn there were more episodes. Anyway it's currently airing on The Roku Channel, for all who wish to check it out.
In the 1980's fresh off his role as Clubber Lang in Rocky III and as B.A. Baracus on the A-Team, Mr. T was a bonafide star. With his signature mohawk look and dripped in jewerly full of gold, along with his "Pity The Fool" catchphrase. People were drawn to Mr. T, Which as customary during that time meant getting your own cartoon. He even had his own cereal to go along with the cartoon.
The Cartoon called Mister T (for copyright reasons) followed Mr. T as a gymnastics coach traveling the world solving mysteries, in the same vain as Scobby-Doo. Each episode featured in a live action segment with Mr. T, first giving a overview of the episode and last providing moral lessons learned.
Mister T aired for three seasons on NBC, currently only a handful of episodes are available to watch on YouTube.
Just like Mr. T, MC Hammer was not only a rap star he was a world renowned superstar in the early 90's. With his flashing clothes and dance moves to go along with his rap, Hammer appealed to the masses. This bought him deals with Pepsi and British Knights, even a toy deal with mattel for a Hammer doll.
He crossed in the cartoon lane in 1991 with his Hammerman cartoon. The premise was actually promising, regular ol' Stanley is just a guy around the neighborhood helping to keep it clean. He has possession of a pair of talking shoes that transform him into the superhero Hammerman when he puts them on.
The series aired on ABC for 13 episodes, and featured the typical 80's/90's staple of have live action segments featuring Hammer, where he spoke with a group of neighborhood kids about lessons learned during the episode.
Hammerman is not currently available on any streaming services, a clip here and there can be found on YouTube.
Kid 'N Play
Like Hammer, Kid 'N Play were successful hip hop artist who had just enough appeal for the masses. So in 1990, fresh off their success with the first House Party film. CBS decided to see if they could be successful in the cartoon world.
The cartoon featured the duo getting into some wild adventures as they embarked on tour for their music career. As a kid not knowing any better, I always wondered why characters like Bilal and the three bullies from the movies weren't included in the cartoon. Of course, those characters were created for the film which had nothing to do with hip hop act of Kid 'N Play.
Just like Mr. T and Hammer, Kid 'N Play appeared in live action segments at the beginning and end of each episode. They couldn't strike gold with the cartoon and it only lasted for one season. A couple of episodes are available on YouTube.
Fillmore! was an early 2000's ABC cartoon. It focused on Cornelius Fillmore, a one-time troubled middle schooler who has gotten on the straight path. He now investigates "crimes" that occur around his school, X Middle.
Along with his partner Ingrid, the two are members of the school's safety patrol doing what it takes to keep the school safe. The cartoon took heavy influence from crime proceduals and other hard-hitting cop shows toning it down for appeal to kids. It actually is a cartoon adults can enjoy as well due to that very reason.
It ran for two reasons and replayed for years on Disney channels such as Disney XD. It's not currently available on Disney Plus.
WayneHead is a cartoon created by Damon Wayans. Many can take it or leave it with the Wayans family style of comedy. I think their comedy legends, with Damon being the overall funniest of the bunch. From my understanding his intentions were very well with this cartoon, it unfortunately did not pan out well.
The cartoon follows Damey Wayne, a regular kid with a bald head and a club foot just doing regular kid things in NYC. It ran for one season on WB Kids during the WB's early years as a network. I'm not sure if it was because WB didn't have a large following at the time or people just didnt care for the show.
Either way it's a crime the show wasn't able to find it's footing. It's currently available on platforms like Amazon Video and Google Play for a couple bucks.
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child
An HBO Kids staple in the 90's was Happily Ever After. The series took fairy tales we all grew up with and switched it up, incorporating different cultures into each episode. Now it wasn't primarily Black characters highlighted in each episode, but a great deal of episodes did include Black characters.
Each episode featured major Hollywood stars at the time to voice the characters, and were narrated by Robert Guillaume. The series debuted in 1995 and ran until 2000, as a kid I didn't realize it but the show highlighted how important representation is.
The series is currently available on HBO Family for those who haven't cut the cord yet, and HBO Max for those that have.
About The Author
B is a 1500 original since 2017. He loves movies, pro wrestling, and traveling. His dream is to one day be able to travel around the world at his leisure. He also is a pro wrestling blogger for brand at talkinsuplexes.com. He also has a geek branded blog at ablogbyb.blogspot.com. Follow him on IG @storybyb where you may find some of the most random questions and polls known to man.