Season 4 of The Boondocks has been one humiliation after another for the indebted Freeman family but they face the ultimate humiliation in “Freedomland.”
Loan shark Ed Wuncler Jr. forces Robert Jebediah Freeman (John Witherspoon) and his grandchildren to work as slaves in a living history theme park set in the 19th century. He touts his progressive nature, explaining that he forces anyone who owes him money to participate regardless of race, “even Jews.”
Freeedomland features racist rides and games like a watermelon carousel and Whack a Mammy, which is a Whac-A-Mole ripoff with women dressed as stereotypical black nannies called mammies.
The Freemans are surprised to see their neighbor Tom DuBois (Cedric Yarbrough), who explains that he’s a history buff and actually signed up to be a slave.
“This is a great opportunity to go back to a noble time for black Americans,” he romanticizes the dark era. “When we overcame obstacles and struggled to be the free fully realized human beings we are. God bless America.”
The self-hating Uncle Ruckus (Gary Anthony Williams) eagerly accepts his role of a boss of his people. He lets Robert and Tom keep their white sounding names but he renames Robert’s grand kids Huey and Riley as “Nigger 1” and “Nigger 2.” He also names the white horse Nigger because he has wide nostrils.
After being humiliated all day they quit but Ruckus blocks their exit and tells them that they can’t leave. Tom protests by citing the Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation, Ruckus says he makes a good point but locks them up anyway.
Tom declares that they’ll stand by each other no matter what but immediately abandons them when his white wife buys his freedom. Robert pleads with Ruckus to let them go since they’re friends.
“Friends?” Ruckus repeats. “Ain’t no friends when it comes to slavery. Real or make-believe. Now since I was cursed with re-vitiligo and born in the 20th century, I never got my chance to experience the beauty and magical nature known as slavery.”
Ever the Uncle Tom, Ruckus says he wants to prove to “Massa” that he’s not like those “field niggers.” Any slave caught reading or writing will be shot for real he insists.
“Pray to your new true God, white Jesus. That’ll make it all better,” Ruckus suggests.
They do just that. The black slave and white indentured servants sing negro spirituals that address their deplorable conditions. It motivates them to take action and revolt under the leadership of Huey (Regina King), a self-described leftist revolutionary.
Ruckus tells Huey they should have been grateful for free housing, food and work. He asks what could ever be greater than Freedomland.
“Freedom,” Huey answers.
The Boondocks airs Monday 10:30 p.m. on Adult Swim / Cartoon Network.