This past week on Facebook, just about everyone I knew changed their avatar to a cartoon character. The intent behind the animation, was to raise awareness of child abuse. While I am often skeptical of Facebook-driven awareness campaigns (the main question being – OK, NOW what?) I found this campaign to be quite cute and heartwarming to behold. As a cartoon junkie, I definitely approved.
And I hope everyone who’s changing their avatars also finds time to please donate to Childhelp.org, or RAINN.org, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network – they’re matching donations from now through December 31!
I have yet to change my Facebook avatar for this drive, but if and when I do, it’ll probably be one of these five awesome black female cartoon characters!
Valerie from Josie and the Pussycats.
Valerie was the original cool rocker chick. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to be like her, back in the day. Am I the only one who lived for Josie and the Pussycats? I was raised on these reruns!
Oh, the Seventies. A time when every cartoon had a mischevious cat or monkey or alien ready to mess things up for the bad guys. Valerie was always cute and groovy, and Josie and the Pussycats endured on through the decades, becoming a live action film. Recently Valerie got some media attention when Archie and her hooked up.
It proved to be a short lived romance (aren’t they all, Archie? Aren’t they all?) Valerie’s popularity lives on, with or without him. And ahem – Valerie has her own MySpace page, y’all. You’re welcome!
I WISH Iridessa was around when I was little! This luminous friend of Tinkerbell’s only made her debut in 2005, when she was introduced along with the other Disney Fairies in a book called Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg. Since then Iridessa has appeared online, in the theme parks, and in films – where she’s voiced by the beautiful Raven-Symone. Iridessa is a “light fairy” who lives in a sunflower. She’s described as a bit of a worrier who likes order, and she loves lemon meringue pie. The more you know!
Indigo from Rainbow Brite.
Rainbow Brite was THE IT TOY when I was six or seven years old. I remember being transfixed by the animated films and the cartoon. And I wanted the dolls SO SO much. I believe I eventually did get some kind of Rainbow Brite doll (who may have been a knockoff). Sadness. There behind the scenes with Rainbow Brite, was her friend Indigo. She’s known as a shy, artistic dreamer with high aspirations. No wonder I always loved her!
Orange Blossom – Strawberry Shortcake’s friend
Confession: when I was five, I stole an eraser from one of my classmates. It was a Strawberry Shortcake eraser and smelled delicious. And it was shaped like Custard the Cat. I knew it was wrong, but I HAD TO HAVE IT. All these years later, I’m sorry for being a thief. But I still LOVE anything and everything Strawberry Shortcake. Blame it on the Eighties. Strawberry Shortcake had a crew of cool friends, and Orange Blossom was there from the very beginning. (OMG, we’re the same age!!). Her skin tone and hair has changed a LOT through the years, but I’m sure her scent remains as sweet as ever!
Susie Carmichael from ‘Rugrats.’
Rugrats came later in my childhood, and they were NEVER cute to me…but I always had a soft spot for little Susie Carmichael. Her hair was always so cute and so fun, and I always loved her voice (done wonderfully by Cree Summer!). Susie was always helpful, sweet, stylish and smart. Sadly, a planned spinoff for Susie and her family never took place before Rugrats went off the air.
**BONUS mention, I completely forgot about Shana from Jem!
My friend Maya Henderson just reminded me on Twitter. How could I have forgotten about Jem’s drummer? Loved Jem!
Also, in the course of this research I discovered the blog Black Superheroines, which is awesome!! Hoping for more posts soon!
Did you change your avatar on Facebook this weekend? What are your thoughts, and which cartoon is your favorite?