“Funky Turns Forty” Debuts at the Black Archives

Funky Turns Forty, an exhibit focused on art hailing from the ‘60s and ‘70s, made its debut Saturday at the Meek-Eaton Black Archives on Florida A&M University’s campus to enlighten students and the community.

This fine arts exhibit honors the 40th anniversaries of the Saturday morning cartoons that featured positive black characters for the first time in television history.

The traveling exhibition includes 60 pieces of animation art from the Museum of UnCut Funk collection, one of the world’s most unique and extensive collections of Original Production Cels and Drawings from the 1970’s.

During the Jim Crow era, African-Americans were depicted with big lips and blackface and were seen as shiftless. This exhibit commemorates the strides and gains of blacks on television.

Director of the Meek-Eaton Black Archives Nashid Madyum, D.M., said it’s great to see positivity come from a negative place.

“We have a massive collection of those items here that come from that era of Jim Crow and segregation," Madyum said. "So people coming through our museum see some of the harsh, stiff, tough realities of that period. It’s nice for them to see the positive efforts that came thereafter.”

Pieces include popular shows like, “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids,” “The Jackson Five,” “Josie and the Pussycat” and “The Harlem Globetrotters."

Madyum also explained the importance of allowing the community to witness a historical piece of artwork at the museum.

“I think that it is important to see from a holistic perspective where animation and African-American identity has come, where it’s come from and where we are. It’s good to understand that the efforts of that transitional period in animation and pop culture are not taken for granted and that it is historically significant,” Madyum said.

The “Funky Turns Forty” exhibit will be free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Halloween.