36. Penny Proud
from Disney’s The Proud Family.
The Proud Family is one of two successful cartoons with a black female main character - the other being Doc McStuffins which just came out in 2012. Penny Proud is an important, iconic character.
She’s a super smart girl with great leadership skills and becomes super dedicated to every project she takes on - whether it be giving another girl a makeover, practicing for a dance competition, or working on her part in the school play. Penny solves all her problems with hard work and advice from her mom, her Suga Mama, and her dad, and always tries to do the right thing.
Through Penny’s struggles and achievements, this show tackles really important issues: sexism, racism, Islamophobia, ableism… can I say it again? This show is so good and so important and Penny is a really awesome character.
If you’re looking to rewatch shows from your childhood, start with The Proud Family. These messages from back in 2001 are still relevant.