The Boondocks went off the air in 2011, and in its departure left a hole in pop culture that no other adult cartoon could fill, or even challenge. At its best, it was politically radical, incisive and subversive, equal parts thoughtful and shocking. In the often colorblind world of television, The Boondocks wasn’t afraid to challenge the viewer and offer a social critique of race in America.
Next week, it returns to Adult Swim for its fourth and final season, but the series creator, Aaron McGruder, won’t be returning with it. The man who meticulously crafted the show’s pugnacious characters, social commentary, and political criticism, is deep at work on another series for Adult Swim, Black Jesus.
Without McGruder it’s impossible to tell what direction the show will take or if his presence will continue to reverberate, albeit from a distance. The Boondocks, historically, has challenged core values of hip-hop culture, such as braggadocio, homophobia, and misogyny, with irreverence and biting satire, often with hilarious results. Beyond that, The Boondocks shamed individuals, and society, into self-improvement. That’s important and difficult work. When the show returns on April 21, it can only be hoped that it continues on in this tradition, blurring the lines and pushing us forward.