Cartoon Network's Anti-Racist PSA Is Going Viral On Twitter, And For Good Reason

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Last week, Cartoon Network put out a short PSA featuring Pearl from Steven Universe as she highlights a serious problem with our education system: the viewing of our history through a white lens.

Black inventors, heroes, and leaders are often left out of history. Ask yourself as you’re learning…who is the focus? Why? Question the story ✊🏿✊🏼✊🏾✊✊🏻✊🏽💖

The Crystal Gems say BE ANTI-RACIST! Visit https://t.co/5ukinriWYO to learn more.

The PSA starts off with Pearl teaching the class about Lewis Latimer and how he is often overlooked for having invented an efficient, affordable filament for use in light bulbs.


Cartoon Network


Cartoon Network

But it’s after that point when it really kicks into gear. Pearl stops and asks why kids are learning about Edison and not Latimer.


Cartoon Network


Cartoon Network

“These textbooks are incomplete,” she says. “There were Black Roman warriors, Black medieval knights, Black classical musicians, Black cowboys, Black fighter pilots…where are they?”


Cartoon Network

“I worry about you humans,” she continues. “You rely on these stories to know your own history. Thanks to systemic racism, most of your storytellers prioritized white accomplishments, which leaves you with an incomplete picture.”


Cartoon Network

“I worry about you humans,” she continues. “You rely on these stories to know your own history. Thanks to systemic racism, most of your storytellers prioritized white accomplishments, which leaves you with an incomplete picture.”

Although the clip was posted to Twitter a week ago, today it began trending as more people came across it.

40 seconds of gold. Cartoon Network was fed up‼️ https://t.co/PfDksgGWg3

The response has been positive overall, with some showing surprise that a network aimed at children is tackling this issue better than others.

Cartoon Network has joined the Resistance

Others have pointed out that this campaign feels different than other corporate efforts as it’s not ~tied~ to anything.

@cartoonnetwork Cartoon Network absolutely doesn’t have to do this. There’s nothing forcing them to. It’s not Black history month and there’s no national outrage that they’re capitalizing on. They do it cause it matters. THIS is the right way to tackle anti-racism.

Bravo CN 👏🏾

Of course, this is Twitter, so there were negative comments as well. But we should all keep this particular bit in mind as we look at history, and at how we were taught about history in school:

Pearl asking "who's telling the story"


Cartoon Network

“Ask yourself as you’re learning history,” Pearl says, “who’s telling the story? Was this modified to make white readers comfortable? Are major details being left out that would credit people of color and center their point of view?”

You can watch the whole video below and see more of Cartoon Network and Steven Universe‘s anti-racist PSA campaign on their website.

View this video on YouTube


youtube.com



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