Ear Hustle

How A Comic Strip Character Help Change The Course Of Black History

In this life that we live in our predecessors have come through some very trying times.  There’s a popular quote that says ‘to know where you are going, you have to know where you’ve been”.  One that the EarHustle411 writing staff consistently keeps at the forefront of our minds as we do our best in the world of journalism.  Racial issues and tensions have been a large part of our history and society for far too long.  Sometimes we tend to forget that solutions to these issues can be resolved if people would keep in mind that we all bleed red blood.

It’s amazing how small children can all be around each other playing together and race or color is never an issue, all that matters is having fun.  Children learn from what they live and are exposed to.  If they are exposed to and live with love, they learn how to give love and if they are exposed to and live with hate, you can best believe they will exude hate.

EarHustle411 came across a very simple historical post on Facebook.  the poster took us back in time to 1968, a tumultuous time in history when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated.   With the country being divided, a retired school teacher named Harriet Glickman penned a letter to Charles M. Schulz, the famed creator of Peanuts with an idea which appeared to be a very simple request in an effort to ease the tensions of the country.

Take a look at the letter:

Letter to Charles M. Schultz

Photo Credit: Charles M. Schulz Museum

Who would have thought that Team Peanuts were also feeling the impact of Dr. King’s death and upon receiving the heartfelt letter from Ms. Glickman, the famed cartoonist not only gave the idea some thought but as many of the other cartoonists were afraid of how the thought would be perceived a he penned in a return letter to Harriet.  (see below):

Letter from Charles M Schultz

Photo Credit: Charles M. Schutz Museum

More communication passed back and forth between Harriet and Schultz and eventually communication from people of color urging Schulz to add a negro character to his beloved comic strip.  After multiple communications, heartfelt pleas, on July 31, 1968 Charles M Schulz announced to the world the newest Peanuts character and his name was “Franklin”.

Franklin

Photo Credit: Peanuts Movie

Franklin made his way into the Peanuts comic strip as a young boy whose father was away on military duty in Vietnam.  As children Franklin introduced himself by returning a beach ball to Charlie Brown and thus the integration began.

peanuts_franklins-first-appearance2

Now if it is this easy for opposite races to get along on paper, surely it’s not that difficult for humans to do the same.  Here we are in 2015 still dealing with the ignorance of bigotry, racism and hate, when if we were to look back at our lives as children and think about how carefree we were, when nothing mattered but having fun.

EarHustle411 and the writing staff is grateful to Harriet Glickman and the late Charles M. Schulz for standing up for what you believe in and showing the world that black and white only means “pencil to paper”.

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