Franklin (Peanuts)

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Franklin is the only African American character in the Peanuts comic strip gang. When Charles Schulz added Franklin on July 31, 1968,[1] it was an important sign of racial harmony in a world that hadn't completely grasped the concept. Unlike the treatment given to many black characters where the difference is highlighted in exaggerated terms to create story lines, it was never mentioned in the Peanuts strips. The concept of children of different races hanging out together was made to seem as something more natural that shouldn't be questioned. Several newspapers threatened to drop the strip unless Franklin was dropped (or at least not shown going to school with white children), but Schulz refused to fold. In one of his first appearances, Franklin talked about his grandfather with Charlie Brown and quoted from the Old Testament. He was with the strip until near its end in 2000 and appeared as a supporting character in The Peanuts Movie in 2015.

References

  1. First appearance of Franklin in Peanuts, July 31, 1968