The comic strip and animated series The Boondocks is about two African American males, Riley and Huey, who move from the South side of Chicago to Woodcrest, Maryland with their grandfather, Robert Freeman. While living in Maryland they experience a number of issues that undergo in the African American community. By critically analyzing The Boondocks, my I.S will demonstrate how Aaron McGruder use Riley and Huey to created a hybrid between "double consciousness" and minstrelsy therefore articulating a new black male performativity that challenges white normative assumptions. Establishing how modern black male identity is both a collaboration and separation of what both Riley and Huey represent. Riley represents the stereotypical African American male in white society who wants to be a rapper, a thug, and thinks he's a "real nigga." Whereas, Huey represents the African American male revolutionary that threatens white American institutions because he is educated and politically knowledgeable. Although McGruder articulates versions of the contemporary African American male identity, he fails to address the contemporary role of African American women. Therefore, he depicts black women in traditional forms as ornaments or as "scapegoats" instead of functional characters in The Boondocks comic strip and series. In this way he demonstrates that both contemporary African American males and females still struggle to be accepted by white America and he shows this causes identity issues.


Mirakhor, Leah




American Popular Culture


internal and external double consciousness, minstrelsy, minstrel mask, masculinity, black masculinity, performativity

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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