Cartoon Black History: Sylvester & Tweety
If you know how hard it is now to have two black people be the stars of a television show, guess how it was back in the days of your forefathers. This is an ode to the first that ever did it, and got away wit’ it… Sylvester and Tweety.
Their parents, however, weren’t fond of the friendship. Sylvester’s parents warned a light-skinned Tweety would eventually stab him in the back to get ahead. Meanwhile, Tweety’s folks instilled in him that a dark-skinned Sylvester would steal from him at any given moment. The upbringing caused a tumultuous relationship.
Despite being the best of friends, they fought incessantly. Moreover, they wantonly shouted slurs at each other in public. During an afternoon stroll wrought with hysterical exchanges of “Uncle Tom” and “spear chucker”, they came across a talent agent. The agent made a reality show pairing Sylvester and Tweety with a racist elderly detective and her dog that hated black people. They were all sent off to solve cold cases while the cameras rolled.
Despite the potential for hilarity, the show bombed and they fell on hard times. Tweety wanted to stay in the limelight while Sylvester just wanted to survive. Low and behold, the premonitions of their respective parents would hold true. Sylvester began stealing from Tweety. Tweety immediate informed the old lady cop who had Sylvester arrested. The scandal put Tweety back in the papers for a short stint before he faded out of favor with the public.
So, you may ask, what is their contribution to African America? That incident led to one of the most significant quotes to ever be coined. While being ushered to the police car, Sylvester said, “Y’know, snitches get stitches” and caused Tweety to live the rest of his days in constant fear of attack. Thanks to those two gentlemen, we now know how to conduct ourselves in the ‘hood when people try to stop crime.