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Black premium weight slub cotton tee with vintage Peanuts water based ink print

All profits from this t shirt will go directly to the Minnesota Freedom Fund

Shortly after the assassination of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King in 1968, Harriet Glickman, a teacher raising three kids in suburban Los Angeles, sat down at her typewriter to write a letter to Peanuts creator Charles M Schulz.

"Dear Mr. Schulz," she wrote, "since the death of Martin Luther King, I've been asking myself what I can do to help change those conditions in our society which led to the assassination and which contribute to the vast sea of misunderstanding, hate, fear and violence." Glickman thought the creator of the popular Peanuts comic strip could play a small part in promoting tolerance and interracial friendship by including a black character in his strip. She sent off the letter, not expecting a reply.

Schulz wrote back, to say he had considered her suggestion. But he worried that if he created such a character, black parents might think he was condescending to their families. With Schulz's permission, Glickman asked two of her black friends to send him some ideas on how to make a black character relatable. A few weeks later, the cartoonist responded.

"You will be pleased to know that I have taken the first step in doing something about presenting a black child in the comic strip during the week of July 29," Schulz said. "I have drawn an episode which I think will please you."

Just like that, Franklin was born.

His debut, in 1968, drew praise from across the country, but also protest from Southern segregationists, Newspaper editors and other Right Wing media. Schulz kept Franklin in the strip despite the threats he received and it marked a mile stone in civil rights history