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Historian draws attention to black animation art

NPR has a report on Pamela Thomas who for the past 12 years has been collecting black animation art. She later began sharing the collection online with her Museum of UnCut Funk. A traveling show titled “Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Exhibition” begins touring next month. A sidebar to the article discusses animator Leo Sullivan who worked on some of the characters and storylines on the series Fat Albert. “Doing the cartoons and developing those shows and working on them in those early days was exciting. It was more personal, it took more people to do them, it was more expensive, and in my day we had to individually develop characters.” Of that show Thomas said, “Their stories were like your stories, their experiences were like your experience. Bill Cosby’s cartoon was so groundbreaking, it just dealt with so many issues — smoking, cheating in school, playing hooky, divorce, what happens when you steal from others. You don’t realize it when you’re watching it that you’re getting all of these messages in a form that children can understand.”

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