Martin Luther King Jr. Day makes me think of Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks. There is an episode in season 1 that is a “what if” scenario, and it has Dr. King going into a coma instead of dying after being shot and then waking up shortly before 9/11 happens. That particular episode won a Peabody Award and stirred up all kinds of controversy for having Dr. King get frustrated and give an incensed speech to a crowd (you can watch that scene here).
I began reading The Boondocks comic when it first appeared in my Sunday comics. I was in high school, already questioning everything around me (seriously, teachers either loved me or hated me because I wasn’t one of those students just falling asleep or scribbling notes but actively listening and probing). The comic opened up my white suburban girl’s mind to a whole lot more than my little world, and I loved that Aaron McGruder’s comic touched on all Americans, including my own group. It was inclusive in it’s satire and brutal in it’s honesty, traits I greatly admire. So once I found out the cartoon was debuting on Adult Swim, I was very excited. Then I watched the first episode, and I laughed so much, wondered if I even should be laughing at some of the jokes, then laughed some more. Each episode of the first season was artistically beautiful, pushed a lot of boundaries, hilariously funny, and a handful of episodes even made me cry – the season finale especially. And each made me question a little more. Season two was also very well done, season 3 you can tell there was a lot more studio interference, and I haven’t bothered with season 4 since Aaron McGruder wasn’t involved with it. But to me, this is what art and entertainment should be – it should make you somewhat uncomfortable, leave you asking questions, and still entertain you.
Back to MLK, it’s an intriguing thought, isn’t it? What would his response to our modern day life be like? What would many of the people who stood up for what they felt was necessary think of us today? And would they feel that the actions they took were a waste or no?