We Need More Black/African American Anime and Cartoons

Research by Rhegell Anne Cross

Edited by De'Von Truvel

Anime features imaginative realms, heroes who overcame adversity, and others with astounding powers. Since the genre's introduction in the 1960s, Americans have enjoyed grand travels and escape. Black anime aficionados know this well. Our existence consists of enduring constant discrimination from numerous sources. Black nerds or "Blerds', like myself, 'find consolation in anime. Black fans/cultures and anime have a unique symbiotic relationship.


Support our Campaign to create a Black History Cartoon!


What are the effects of Anime on Black Fans?

Our love for anime has led to increased representation in modern anime. More Black characters appear in non-Black-created shows. Onyankapon (Attack on Titan), Kilik (Soul Eater), Canary (Hunter x Hunter), Atsuko Jackson (Michiko & Hatchin), Ogun Montgomery (Fire Force), and Carole (Carole and Tuesday) are contemporary examples. Our consumption and dollar are shifting the culture but we need more shows that are created for us and by us.

The Black History Adventures of Rose and Rodney Created by De'Von Truvel


What percentage of Black Americans watch anime?

Survey among adults in the United States as of January 2020, by ethnicity


Very favorable

Very unfavorable







African American






It is also found that 5.6 percent of animated characters be it in cartoons or anime are black. Is that enough?

Cartoons are shown nonstop on TV. It affects children's conduct positively and negatively. Children watch cartoons for entertainment (41%), action (23%), and learning (17%). Children who watch cartoons demonstrate high levels of language acquisition and cognitive growth, as well as aggressive and violent behavior with siblings and peers. Some kids are antisocial because they watch too much TV. Children mimic cartoons; they're too fanatical (70%). Cartoons affect kids' moral and social development. Knowing this how can we create more content that positively impacts the behavior and development of our youth? At Play Black Wall Street we use animation to teach Black History and increase financial literacy.


Adults apart from children also watch animated shows, simply because it doesn’t demand too much time for each episode. Usually cartoons only have a few minutes per episode that provides entertainment for the viewers. And in case you are wondering what was the first ever all-black cartoon it is, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids which explored topics vital to inner-city black children with humor, singalongs, and Bill Cosby's multi-character voice acting.

Now, why is it also important for the viewers to have diversity and representation? 

A key benefit to representation within cartoons and anime is that it encourages children to develop tolerance and compassion for those who are different from themselves. Importantly, though, cartoons that include diverse characters show children that they may be themselves without being mocked. Seeing themselves reflected in the media provides children with a sense of belonging and acceptance. This is why it’s important to make sure that the right animations (cartoons and anime shows) are well depicted and represented. Diversity must at all times be available to the viewers whether they are children or grown adults.

Leave your thoughts below and share this blog with a fellow Blerd!

Why Black Representation in Cartoons Matter





https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6136259/ (Really good study)




Leave a comment

Name .
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published