The Proud Family is classic black TV. The hilarious Disney show followed 14-year-old black teen Penny Proud (voiced by Kyla Pratt) as she negotiated life with her goofy entrepreneuer father, veterinarian mother, OG grandma (‘Suga Mama’), twin baby siblings Bebe and Cece, and best friends Dijonay, Zoey, LaCienega and Sticky. Running for 3 seasons and with guest voice stars including Al Roker, Samuel L. Jackson, Cicely Tyson and Gabrielle Union, the show was an instant hit.
The Proud Family wasn’t without its imperfections. Some have noted undercurrents of colorism (darker skinned characters were often portrayed as goofy and ‘ghetto’, while lighter skinned characters were portrayed as classier and more rational.) And natural hair was associated with ‘The Gross Sisters’, the bullies at Penny’s school. Still, the show gave a rich look at the inner life of a young, black girl living in a black neighborhood. And who can forget the theme song, sung by Solange and Destiny’s child….
The show has enjoyed some limited syndication, but reruns are hard to come by. But although the show’s final season ended in 2005 it’s enjoying a second life thanks to black middle and high school students who are dressing up as the characters for Spirit Week, Senior Week and Halloween. And words can’t express how much we *love* this.