Minorities in cartoons: Ronald-Ann Smith

Ronald-AnnRonald-Ann, in "A Wish For Wings That Work."

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Ronald-Ann Smith, a recurring character in Berkeley Breathed’s comic strips “Bloom County” and “Outland.”

Ronald-Ann (named after then-President Ronald Reagan) is a grade-school aged African-American girl with a highly optimistic view of the world. This comes in spite of her impoverished environment (the strip says she’s from the “wrong side of the tracks” of Bloom County, and her doll’s head was shot off in drug-related gang wars). Ronald-Ann often spent time around “Bloom County”‘s biggest star, Opus the penguin.

After “Bloom County” ended, Breathed shifted to his new Sunday-only strip, “Outland,” with Ronald-Ann as its main star. Eventually, however, Ronald-Ann was soon displaced by the return of Opus (and some other “Bloom County” characters), and eventually disappeared from the strip altogether (save, at least claims Wikipedia, a brief cameo toward the end of the run of Breathed’s following and final newspaper strip, “Opus”).

Ronald-Ann made one animated appearance, in the Opus-starring Christmas special “A Wish for Wings that Work.” There, she’s voiced by Alexaundria Simmons, who IMDB lists as having a few acting credits, but nothing since 2000.

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