COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Racism is no laughing matter, but one cartoonist is using humor to fight it. Keith Knight’s comics “The K Chronicles” and “TH(ink)” take on topics such as politics, police brutality and systemic racism, but with a comedic twist.
Most recently, he shared his message of what he calls racial illiteracy in a presentation at The Ohio State University.
“My slideshows are funny, funny, punch in the face,” Knight said of his artwork.
As a young artist, his cartoons changed when a college professor introduced him to American authors like Richard Wright.
“My autobiographical cartoon went from being about keg parties to what it was like being a black man in America,” Knight said.
During these times of civil unrest, Knight gave a virtual presentation with the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library at OSU over the weekend, drawing in more than 500 people online. His message of racial illiteracy stems from his belief of the lack of learned black history in American education.
“It’s like Lincoln freed the slaves, and then there was Martin Luther King and then a black president, so there’s no more racism in America,” Knight said. “That is just not true.”
He believes if Americans were taught more black history, things might be different today. His message during these times of civil unrest is for everyone, no matter their skin color, to step up and speak up.
“There are plenty of racist folk pushing like this and just being neutral is not going to help anything,” Knight said.
Knight is currently working on a show about his life called “Woke.” It’s expected to air on the streaming service Hulu this fall.