What’s the worst TV-related Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa (?) gift you’ve ever received? While you’re thinking about which aunt gave you a signed copy of Dharma & Greg season three on VHS (Jenna Elfman’s signature hurt the resale value), here’s my answer: back in the early 1990s, when the only thing I knew about The Simpsons was that Bart Simpson did the Bartman, one of my uncles gave me a t-shirt with Homer and Marge’s only son on it. But something was off — he didn’t look like the Bart that had a rep for being rude. He was black.
It was very confusing, though not out of the ordinary — according to Wikipedia (yeah, yeah), at the peak of Bartmania, “The success of Bart merchandise inspired a line of black market counterfeit items, especially T-shirts. Some featured Bart announcing various slogans, others depicted redesigns of the character, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Bart and RastaBart. Matt Groening generally did not object to bootleg merchandise, but took exception to a series of Nazi Bart shirts which depicted Bart in Nazi uniform or as a white power skinhead.”
With Christmas around the corner, and Hanukkah already happening, I put together a collection of Black Bart t-shirts and other merchandise from the 1990s. Please don’t buy and wear them ironically; it’s not a good idea.
Not Black Bart, BUT STILL. (Via)