Growing up I loved watching cartoons and shows after school. At that time as a kid I did not notice the stereotypical norms I was being exposed to until now. The shows and the cartoons I was watching all seemed to have that one black character that is friends with the main character. The only purpose of the character is to only be funny, not so smart, and a friend that the main character can ask for advice sometimes. These characters were shown to never be taken seriously by the characters in the show and by the audience. Also illustrating that these black funny characters can never be the main character or the leader.
Example one of these characters is number 5 of the cartoon show Kids Next Door. Number 5 was shown to have qualities to lead the Kids Next Door but was shown to have the attitude that she was too cool to lead. She was often shown to only care for herself rather than the group sometimes. But Number 1 always went to her for time he needed advice for something but never gave her any credit.
Example two is Tucker Foley from the show Danny Phantom. In the show Tucker was the sidekick to Phantom. Tucker was shown to be a weak, scary, smart kid that Phantom had to save over and over again. While Danny Phantom was the hero of the show Tucker was just shown to be the tag along to his adventures.
Example three is Johnny from the show Ed, Edd, Eddy. In this show Johnny was shown to be a loner and not so bright kid because he was shown to never be hanging out with anyone beside Plank. Plank is a piece of wood that had a face drawn on him. Johnny wasn’t really shown that much in the show but every time he was shown to be on par on intelligence level as Eddy. Eddy is supposed to be the most stupid character in the show.
Example 4 is Cleveland from the show Family Guy. Cleveland to me is the worst black character in television history. He is shown to be every bad stereotype that black people have in one. Often he is shown to be the punch bags of the jokes, stupid, and shown to be a coward most of the time. Cleveland is always bullied by the main character Peter.
All the shows put black kids and adults in a bad light by showing us that we are nothing but sidekicks to the white leads in the shows. The show feeds into the stereotype that black people can never be the leader or the main character because we always lack intelligence, are too cowardly, and selfish to be one. This is harmful to the black kids because they often see themselves in the shows that they watch. So when they just see themselves represented as just to be funny and sidekicks they will never grow up to be the leaders that they are supposed to be.