Cartoons, dolls, and children's entertainment goes back as far as....well, for a very long time. We wanted to share with you the history of children's entertainment featuring black main characters:
1. The first children's book with a black main character:
'The Snowy Day': Breaking Color Barriers, Quietly The classic children's book by Ezra Jack Keats turns 50 this year. When it came out in 1962, it was one of the first major kids' books to feature a non-caricatured black protagonist. It became a huge hit, and was embraced by parents, teachers and children of all colors.
2. The first mainstream cartoon(s) to feature a black main character:
The Jackson 5ive is a Saturday morning cartoon series produced by Rankin/Bass and Motown Productions on ABC from September 11, 1971, to October 14, 1972; a fictionalized portrayal of the careers of Motown recording group the Jackson 5. Just a year prior to Fat Albert and The Cosby Kids, Retitled Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, the series premiered on September 9, 1972, on CBS. Production lasted for 12 years, though production of the series was not continuous. It also spent another season in first-run syndication (1984–85).
3. The first comic book to feature a main character
Black Panther is a fictional comic strip superhero created for Marvel Comics. He is one of the first Black comic book superheroes in the United States. Black Panther first appeared in Fantastic Four no. 52 (July 1966).
4. The first black doll company:
In 1911 Henry Boyd founded the National Negro Doll Company. The former slave created the first black doll company for his daughters. It has been said that Boyd was the first to market mass-produced black dolls. He sold black dolls when he was able to purchase from a European manufacturer.
This is the black history of Children's Entertainment! Happy Black History Month to you all!