The Evolution of An Artform: An Analysis of Black Characters in Animation from 1920-2010



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Throughout history, the animation industry has positioned itself as one of the most beloved and profitable forms of entertainment. The artform's success has always been dependent on its ability to adapt to cultural and societal expectations of audiences. By doing so, animation has managed to remain relevant regardless of the era it is in. One of the easiest ways for the animation industry to appeal to ever-changing audience interests was to capitalize on consistent societal sentiments, specifically black ethnic humor. By focusing on the humiliation and exploitation of black Americans in their cartoons, animators throughout history could maintain and grow their status in the entertainment industry. This research aims to understand how and why societal changes throughout American history have impacted black ethnic humor in the animation industry.



Minstrelsy, Animation, Blackface, Disney, Filmation, Cartoons, Ethnic humor, Television, Entertainment