“Return of the King” and a Response to Black Cutlture

When I see season 1 episode 9 of the Boondocks I see a lot of allusion and an additional responsiveness to this episode that might not be present in other episodes.  Martin Luther King Jr. is often associated with social activism, but he was also a pastor and as a result I see him through a religious filter.

In this particular episode MLK is alive after waking up from a comma and he is trying to effect black culture.  In the episode, the Christian doctrine of loving your enemy and turning the other cheek is raised and the media reacts viscerally. It represents the first moment when the filter is removed and, in this case, the media says he loves Al-Qaeda. I associate MLK to these religious aspects of his doctrine and to see such an unfiltered reaction was surprising even in the context of the “Boondocks.”

Here we see a total breakdown and removal of censoring and filtering in order to address popular African American culture.  The episode connects and alludes to multiple texts but this speech and the scene after it make the episode responsive.  As a result, the episode becomes a commentary on modern a day black culture and its dismal climb.

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“Return of the King” and a Response to Black Cutlture

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