Aaron McGruder, creator of the well-known series The Boondocks, is back with his new comedy called Black Jesus. This controversial series finds Jesus on a mission to help mankind while living in present day Compton, California. Black Jesus is on a daily quest to spread kindness and love throughout the downtrodden neighborhood with the help of his small but loyal group of followers.
Adult Swim recently announced this live-action comedy series will air for a half-hour starting Thursday, August 7th at 11:00 in the evening (ET/PT). Black Jesus in not animated as was his last series, instead is a live-action scripted series. The series stars some familiar faces in the comedic industry such as John Witherspoon, Charlie Murphy and Corey Holcomb. The role of Black Jesus stars newcomer Gerald “Slink” Johnson along with Antwon Tanner, Kali Hawk, Angela Gibbs, Andrew Bachelor, and Valenzia Algarin. McGruder is the writer and executive producer through his company 5 Mutts Productions.
McGruder is an American cartoonist and writer best known for his cartoon strip called The Boondocks. This Universal Press Syndicate comic strip follows the lives of two young African-American brothers from Chicago’s inner city. These brothers are now living with their grandfather in the upper echelon suburb named Woodcrest. The strip explores issues involving American politics and African-American culture through the exceptionally intelligent Huey and his gangster wannabe younger brother Riley.
McGruder’s followers were upset to learn the creator of The Boondocks would not be involved in the series’ fourth and last season. Many of his fans will be happy to learn that his new series Black Jesus will follow his style as a magnet for criticism.
The creator’s work has been an absolute lightening rod for criticism since it debuted in 1999. Some of the series most notable targets have been Whitney Houston, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Al Sharpton, Condoleezza Rice, Bill Cosby, Dr. Martin Luther King and black political commentator Larry Elder. McGruder received a host of criticism for the strip he released immediately following the attacks of 9/11. He went on to explain his views in a keynote address at the 2002 H2K2 conference where he bluntly stated,
Outside of the world of whackos and conspiracy theorists and all of that, very few people in the mainstream have been willing to say what I’m about to say, which is, I really and truthfully believe that George W. Bush is somehow involved, either directly or indirectly, in the attacks on New York City on September 11.
When speaking of The Boondocks McGruder stated that it was important to offend, but just as important to do it for the right reasons. Even though he was not a part of the final season, the creator said he personally navigated the series for three seasons through the minefields of controversy. He went on to say,
Although it was not perfect, it was always done with a keen sense of duty, history, culture and love. Anything less would have been unacceptable.
A disagreement with BET has fueled much of the creator’s material for his animated series and comic strip. A couple of The Boondocks episodes have depicted BET as an evil media empire which seeks to destroy black people. McGruder and BET have had an adverse relationship for years, but this mastermind of a creator has found much success on the Adult Swim network. In a statement McGruder said,
It’s a rare thing to have a network home. Even more rare is a home that wants to see you grow and expand as a creator. Adult Swim is headed to new horizons and I’m happy to be along for the ride.
To the delight of his many fans, Aaron McGruder is back with a new comedy series named Black Jesus. This live-action series follows Jesus living in present day Compton while on a mission to spread kindness and love throughout the “hood” with the help of his downtrodden followers. Black Jesus premieres on Adult Swim August 7, 2014.
*VIDEO CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)