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The birth of Aaron McGruder in 1974 is celebrated on this date. He is a Black cartoonist and social commentator through media.
Born in Chicago, McGruder and his family moved to Columbia, MD, when he was six. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Afro-American Studies, and a concentration in social and cultural analysis. As a journalistic artist, his comic strip, “The Boondocks,” made its debut in the campus newspaper, The Diamondback, in late 1996. The material was entertaining and also filled with social and political commentary, so much so that it was yanked from the public in the months following the 9/11 attack in New York City, Pennsylvania, and D.C.
In 2002, McGruder was awarded the "Chairman's Award" at the NAACP Image Awards. Additionally, USA Today has called McGruder "the most dangerous black man" and compared his voice (message) to that of Langston Hughes. McGruder is creative, driven, and astute. A frequent public speaker on political and cultural issues, McGruder gave a keynote speech at H2K2 (a hacker's conference) in 2002, where he railed against the George Bush administration, corporate-controlled mass media, political corruption, financial scandal and U.S. foreign policy.
He now lives in Los Angeles, where he is working on projects that include animating Boondocks. He is also the co-author of a graphic novel, Birth of a Nation, published in 2004
Birth of a Nation,
A Comic Novel Written by Aaron McGruder and Reginald Hudlin
Illustrated by Kyle Baker
copyright July 2005, Crown Books I