Well, folks, it's that time of the year again: "Black History Month." You know, the shortest month of the year. During this time, I like to reflect on black history in all areas, including television. The first show that comes to mind when I think of black television is "The Proud Family."
The series was created by Bruce W. Smith, a black man who has worked on many popular films including "Frozen," "Tarzan," "Wreck-It Ralph," and most recently, "Teen Titans Go! To The Movies." "The Proud Family" premiered on September 15, 2001, and was the first original Disney Channel animated series. The show follows the Proud family with Penny Proud, daughter of characters Oscar and Trudy Proud, as the main protagonist.
Before I get into why I love the show, I have to talk about the theme song. It is so iconic and memorable to me because it's performed by Destiny's Child. I loved Beyonce's music growing up, so to hear her in one of my favorite shows is just perfect.
"Proud Family" is one of my favorite shows is because it is the perfect example of how a show featuring black characters as the focus should be done.
Usually, when shows or movies feature mainly black characters, they are written by a non-black person. That is totally fine because it's not as if we limit who can make shows and movies on race; if we could, we probably wouldn't have gotten "The Wire" from HBO.
However, when non-black directors handle these shows and movies, we end up with their idea of what it means to be black or their idea of how black people act. That is essentially what "The Cleveland Show" was. With the "Proud Family," that isn't the case.
The series was created and overseen by a black man, which helps the show avoid stereotypes. This led to the show embracing and shoving in your face the fact that these are black characters you are watching, and they do in fact deal with issues because they are black. This can be seen in the "Seven Days Of Kwanzaa" and the "I Had a Dream" episodes. I mean, how many shows have done an episode about Kwanzaa? You can probably count them on one hand.
It may seem like I only like the show because it has black people in it, but that's not the case. I like the show because of how it portrays black people and how relatable it is. I may not relate to having a huge family like Penny, but I always related to the fact that she was a young black person who had to learn about black culture and history through life experiences. I have other favorite shows, but don't relate to them the same way I do "The Proud Family."
Disney, if you ever are looking for reboot ideas, I highly recommend bringing back "The Proud Family." This show is so important for young black kids, especially since there really aren't any cartoons or kid-targeted shows like "The Proud Family" today. And this adult wouldn't mind tuning back into Disney Channel for a "Proud Family" reboot, either.