Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pilgrims in an Unholy Land: The Boondocks & Suburban Discontent

First Sunday, color strip of The Boondocks

In the first Sunday color strip of The Boondocks, Riley and Huey continue to explore their new environment and realize that how different the suburbs are from the city. The two brothers had been walking for 10 minutes, and Riley notes that they have not passed typical urban landmarks such as basketball courts, Chinese take-out places, or rib shacks.

"Riley," Huey says, "we are pilgrims in an unholy land." Despite widespread ideas about the virtues of the suburbs and the problems of urban environments, Huey suggests an alternative view: a place like the suburban Woodcrest, where they now live, is less desirable.

Huey and Riley's discomfort with Woodcrest and by extension their dissatisfaction with white people and environments was no doubt a rare sight for the funny pages of newspapers. Large numbers of readers were perhaps surprised to learn that young black boys would find the suburbs so distasteful.

Yet, The Boondocks offered regular critiques of white suburbia in particular and why Huey and Riley found it so troubling. Their experiences trying to make sense of their neighborhoods and new surroundings of course was what makes the series so entertaining, it's where the strip derives its energy.

Related: Aaron McGruder Week 

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