"Franklin: The Legacy of Peanuts' First Black Character" Panel Discussion
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
About This Event
Join JumpStart cartoonist Robb Armstrong, animator and director Raymond S. Persi, and Peanuts Worldwide Senior Vice President Melissa Menta for a program about the historical significance and contemporary legacy of Franklin, the first Black character in Peanuts.
Introduced by Charles Schulz to readers in 1968 at the urging of school teacher Harriet Glickman, the addition of Franklin to Peanuts was a bold statement in a tumultuous and polarized year. 55 years later, Franklin’s impact continues with new initiatives from Peanuts Worldwide, including The Armstrong Project—a scholarship program for students at two Historically Black Universities—and a new animated special. Come learn the history behind Franklin’s introduction, what he has meant to readers over the years, and how he’s helping lift up the next generation of Black creators.
Robb Armstrong has been drawing the daily comic strip JumpStart since 1989, which chronicles the life of the Cobbs, a Black family living in Philadelphia. He found his vocation at age 3 by falling in love with Peanuts and later, became close friends with Schulz. In 1994, Schulz gave Franklin the last name Armstrong in honor of Robb.
Melissa Menta is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Peanuts Worldwide LLC. Recently, she has spearheaded the creation of The Armstrong Project and a Franklin-inspired collection from Harlem’s Fashion Row.
Raymond S. Persi is an Emmy Award®️-winning director and has contributed to both television and feature animation as a director, writer, story artist, and voice actor. He has recently directed new Peanuts Specials for Apple TV+, including Welcome Home, Franklin and One-of-a-Kind Marcie.
- Lectures & Talks