Feb 15, 2022

Black is Beautiful 2022 - Brenda Banks


Brenda Banks was an animator born in Los Angeles California in 1948. I believe she grew up or spent time in Georgia but came back to LA to go to Cal Arts where she studied from 1966 to 1970. She did a student animated film and got her first gig working on the Flip Wilson show. Shortly after that she willed her way into a gig with Palestinian American animation director named Ralph Bakshi (Cool World, Fritz The Cat). At Bakshi films she worked on a adult satirical animation called Coon Skin which came out in 1977. She was described as shy, funny, and extremely talented with the pencil. She animated animals, people, and monsters. In her nearly 30 year career she worked as a layout artist, storyboard revisionist, and an animator. She also trained other artists. She is the one of the first Black women to work in animation if not thee first. In her career she worked on Charlie Brown, The Smurfs, American Pop, Looney Tunes, King of The Hill, The Simpsons, Lord of The Rings, The Jetsons, and Scooby Doo.  I'm sure she faced many barriers not only as a Black person but as a disabled person, and a woman. But, she is a pioneer  who people in the biz remember fondly. She passed away in 2020.

Sources: African Animators Past & Present, Cartoon Brew, Black Women Animate, Women in Animation, IMDB, BLK Animation.net

Check out this one of cartoonist Jackie Ormes

And the previous one this year was The Black Resurgents

Wanna see another Black animator? Peep Jim Simon

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