Slavery According to Uncle Ruckus

[Hat-tip to Larry Cebula]

I had never heard of The Boondocks before watching this short clip from Second Season episode: “The Story of Catcher Freeman.” The clip does contain some offensive language.

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25 comments… add one

  • Scott A. MacKenzie May 22, 2014

    The loyal slave narrative from the Lost Cause still lives.

    • Kevin Levin May 22, 2014

      There is a bit more to this if you do some follow up reading.

  • Larry Cebula May 22, 2014

    You deal with race and memory and have not heard of The Boondocks? Kevin you are in for a treat.

    The Boondocks is a comic strip that became an animated series on Cartoon Network. It is the work of Aaron McGruder, himself black, and has some of the sharpest commentary on race in America that I know. And a great cast of characters. The clip you shared is a history lesson from Uncle Ruckus, the self-hating black man.

    The best introduction to Ruckus is the first episode, which should be enough to get you hooked on the whole series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc21n2SJjjk

    • Kevin Levin May 22, 2014

      Larry,

      I apparently deal with these issues on a very limited basis. Thanks for passing this along. Interesting to note that these guys got their start at the University of Maryland when I was also on campus. Should have read the school newspaper more regularly.

  • Eric Swanger May 22, 2014

    Boondocks is pretty amazing stuff. An Uncle Ruckus clip takes a bit of set up. Basically, think of him as an “Uncle Tom” or the polar opposite of Malcolm X (or Huey, the little kid in the clip).

    It’s not for everybody, but it really is a bit of fun. And if you’re not careful, you may learn something before it’s done.

    • Kevin Levin May 22, 2014

      You definitely need a bit of background, which is why I provided the link. I do need to spend some more time with it.

  • Christine Moore Smith May 22, 2014

    I believe it was a newspaper comic strip at first. It caused quite a bit of controversy at that time and he eventually quit that venue. I hadn’t realized he had resurrected it in animated form until a couple of years ago.

    • Kevin Levin May 22, 2014

      It was in the University of Maryland’s student newspaper, The Diamondback.

  • Dee Brightley May 22, 2014

    This started at the University of Maryland? Interesting. Duing the war, Maryland was a Union slave state, right?

    • Kevin Levin May 22, 2014

      Yes, but I am not sure why Maryland’s wartime status is relevant given that the students are from all over the world. I went to graduate school at Maryland and I am from New Jersey.

      • The Other Susan May 22, 2014

        How bout that another New Jerseian, are you from the North or South? If you say North I’ll like you, if you say South, go find Al Mackey :P

        Michael Shaara was from New Jersey, but then again so was William Dunning. :P

        • Kevin Levin May 22, 2014

          Atlantic City, New Jersey. :-)

        • Al Mackey May 23, 2014

          Hey, I represent that remark. ;)

          Kevin and I are both proud South Jersey boys.

  • Dee Brightley May 22, 2014

    Well, wasn’t Maryland a slave state before the war as well? Why isn’t a discussion on slavery in Maryland relevant in a discussion about race and slavery as presented by a Maryland alum? How is that objectionable in any way at all?

    • Kevin Levin May 22, 2014

      Who said it was objectionable? I am simply pointing out that the students’ interest in this subject may have nothing to do with the history of the state of Maryland. In fact, if you read up on the series you will find a pretty rich story surrounding its origin and evolution.

  • Dee Brightley May 22, 2014

    I also thought an acknowledgement of the University’s shameful ties to slavery would be relevant. For some inexplicable reason “Boondocks” ignores this history, which is absolutely stunning.

    PS- I posted two other comments in two other threads. Are you disallowing them?

    • Kevin Levin May 22, 2014

      You don’t seem to understand that the video is not about Maryland. That is what is “stunning.”

  • Forester May 22, 2014

    Oh my God, you’ve never heard the Boondocks? “Catcher Freeman” is one of the best episodes of the series, and it’s an amazing series. “Return of the King,” “It’s a Black President Huey Freeman,” and “The Story of Jimmy Rebel” all deal with race issues and are brilliant. You should just stop whatever you’re doing and watch the show.

    • Kevin Levin May 22, 2014

      Will make it one of my summer projects.

  • Julian May 23, 2014

    the full episode with its absurdist Rashamon appraoch to narrative – enjoy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EuxeKnFqTM

    • Kevin Levin May 23, 2014

      Thanks, but you forgot to include the link.

  • Julian May 23, 2014

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EuxeKnFqTM

    this is the link and it works for me – sometimes links are disabled due to geographical location – the story is told in three different manner hence Roshamon – but the Confederate uniform wearing Massa dies in every iteration

    here is the Boondock’s take on the Freedom Rides

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQhOvD2ZyCo

    • Kevin Levin May 23, 2014

      Thank you.

  • London John May 23, 2014

    The strip seems to be re-running from the beginning on GOCOMICS.

  • Al Mackey May 23, 2014

    I used to be a regular reader of The Boondocks when it was syndicated in the newspapers. It’s brilliant satire and commentary.

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