Black animated and comic characters: Leshawna (“Total Drama Island”)

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Moving into non-American Black characters, we come to Leshawna, from the Canadian series “Total Drama Island” (and its successors, “Total Drama Action” and “Total Drama World Tour”). The series airs on Cartoon Network (in the US) and Teletoon (in Canada).

Background

“Total Drama” is a parody of reality shows, with the first season mocking “Survivor” by placing a group of teenagers at a run-down summer camp in northern Ontario. Like on “Survivor,” the teens vote each other off at the end of each episode, after completing various insipid-but-funny challenges, while competing for a $100,000 (later $1,000,000) prize. All of this is spearheaded by the show’s host, the sadistic and egoistical Chris.

All the show’s contestants reflect teenaged versions of reality show contestant stereotypes. Thus, the cast ranges from a juvenile delinquent (Duncan) to a “Napoleon Dynamite”-esque character (Harold) to a vapid blonde (Lindsey). Keeping with the show’s Canadian background, there’s also a stereotypical boy from Alberta named Ezekiel. He’s a sexist, home-schooled kid who kept getting voted off early in earlier seasons.

Leshawna fills the “sassy Black woman” stereotype of reality show contestants, speaking in, well, a sassy manner. Despite this, she seems to legitimately care about the well-being of whatever team she’s on. However, she does carry a grudge/rivalry/outright hatred for Heather, the series’ obligatory reality show-style villain.

There’s also her would-be relationship with Harold, who has a huge crush on her.

Voice actress

Leshawna’s voiced by Novie Edwards, who’s also the voice of Jackie in “Cyberchase.”

(Updated 11/3/16)


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