I am the stone that the builder refused
I am the visual
That made lady sing the blues
I'm the spark that makes your idea bright
The same spark
that lights the dark
So that you can know your left from your right
I am the ballot in your box
The bullet in your gun
The inner glow that lets you know
To call your brother son
The story that just begun
The promise of what's to come
And I'm 'a remain a soldier till the war is won
- Asheru, "The Boondocks" television show opening theme song
I love The Boondocks. LOVE. Aaron McGruder's work on the comic strip was so insightful, incendiary and hilarious that a generation of young geeks & hipsters are still craving any glimpse of something new related to the strip. The animated television series on Cartoon Network was running with no brakes for its first two seasons, with a third season added on based on popular demand. The main characters — Huey, Riley and Grandpa/Robert Freeman — provided a counterbalance to popular thinking that America's younger generation was without independent thought and defied the notion that MTV, BET and reality television solely represented its interests.
While the masses are holding their breath for a recently-announced season four, I am reminding myself why I fell for the comic strip by going back and reading the originals and archives on our site. The bite is still present and I laugh or smirk daily, depending on if McGruder's work is simply funny (a carefully placed R. Kelly reference) or a painful reminder of the state of our society.
Simply put, I feel like I grew up with the comics. As a kid, I related most to Charlie Brown, the awkward but kindhearted guy who hoped that he would eventually catch a break. Later, I grew toward Calvin and Hobbes, the boy who let his imagination fill the gaps in his world. Later on, it was Huey Freeman. The young man was wise beyond his years ... in fact, too wise at times.
While it's outstanding that many of us are waving our geek flags proudly and it's cool to have an interest in comics, remember where your love first started. For many of you, it's right here with these strips. Share them with your kids, your friends, your college roommates or that special someone to let them know a little more about yourself.