I was chatting it up with one of my colleagues today about cartoons. He made mention that there weren’t a lot of cartoons with representation of African-Americans in his day. He’s about 10 years or so older than me so I can definitely see that being true for him. It was true for me as well…for the most part, anyway. There were a couple of cartoons I felt represented my race during the peak of my cartoon-watching days. One was Gargoyles and the other is the subject of this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: Cro.
How I first came across this moment? I first came across the TV series in the Fall of 1993. It was on the ABC Saturday Morning rotation alongside Sonc the Hedgehog, Tales from the Cryptkeeper, and CityKids. I wasn’t particularly captivated by Marsupilami on CBS and I needed something to get me going until Bobby’s World came on at 7:30am. Enter Cro.
What it meant to me then? At the time, I didn’t know much about representation—or lack thereof. I did know I liked science and Cro had plenty of it. I particularly enjoyed the parallels between modern day with Dr. C and Mike and the prehistoric times Phil referenced in his stories. It certainly laid the groundwork for my interest in chemistry and physics in high school years later.
What it means to me now? It’s been over 20 years since I’ve seen an episode of Cro. Despite that, it’s still one of the highlight TV shows of my childhood…especially the time before I earned my second digit. I just spent a few moments reading over summaries of episodes and the science—the way they broke it down—was definitely before its time. That’s something I can appreciate today. Perhaps, one of these days, I’ll look for the VHS cassettes on the series because I’m sure I won’t find it on DVD or Blu-ray—and probably not fully online either. I think it’ll be something I can show my kid when I get to the point of teaching her (or him, if Item 42 of the bucket list doesn’t go as I’ve planned it in my head). Until then, I’ll remain in delight of what the series meant to me as a 9-year-old.