|May-June 2007 Featured Article Winner|
Token Black, formerly known as Token Williams, voiced by Adrien Beard, is a male fourth grader at South Park Elementary. His name is a play on words referring to the politically-correct idea of the "token black guy" commonly featured on American television shows.
Token Black is a regular member of Craig's gang and is most notable for being the only black child in South Park, other than guest characters and Nichole. This is why his name is Token Black; in television and cinema, a "token black" is a black person placed amongst a crowd of white people to introduce racial diversity, ergo "Token Black". His birthday is June 20th. He is also known to be one of the smarter boys, being a straight-A student.
Token made his first appearance in the series pilot episode, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" where he appears as a background character. In early episodes he was an unnamed character, however in the episode "Gnomes" his name was revealed by Mr. Garrison.
His first major role was in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000", in which the boys were competing in a sled race against the girls. Token made fun of Cartman's weight by saying: "Yeah! And with Cartman's enormously fat ass, the boys are sure to win!". Angered, Cartman throws a rock at him, giving him a black eye. However, because Token is an African American, the FBI assumes this was a racist act. Cartman is tried in a federal court and convicted of a hate crime, and was sentenced to juvenile prison.
After realizing that they had no chance against the girls without Cartman's fat ass, Stan and Kyle go to Token's house and ask him to help them get Cartman out of prison. The boys then put on a presentation before the governor, complete with visual aids, in which they detail their opposition to hate crime laws, declaring it as a "savage hypocrisy".
They argue that all forms of crime warrant some sort of hate, and the laws serve only to encourage discrimination further, impressing the governor and securing Cartman's release. Cartman returns home, arriving at the sled race just as they are about to begin, and helps the boys beat the girls.
Token had another major role in "Here Comes the Neighborhood". Token is being teased by his friends for being rich. For example, he was teased by the kids of South Park for having a DVD player, and not knowing what a VHS was, or for having clothes from Armani Exchange. Token, sick of constantly being teased, decides to try and blend in, going to buy clothes at the local J-Mart. However, the people at the store gave him and his parents strange looks, upsetting Token.
After failing to blend in with the rest of the town's kids, Token sings a song asking God to send more rich people to his town. Soon enough, other rich people, including Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Snoop Dogg and their families arrive in South Park. Token tries to play with them, suggesting a snowball fight. Instead, the rich kids make fun of him and go off to play polo. Token, downtrodden, says to himself, "I don't fit in anywhere."
Token then goes to the zoo and asks Aslan the Lion if he could try fit in with the lions, who inexplicably happen to be really into practical jokes and physical comedy. However, after he fails to understand the lions' humor, he realizes that he still doesn't fit in with them. However, at the end, his friends told Token they were just ripping on him, which is just what kids do to each other, and that he had always been part of the group from the beginning.
In "Christian Rock Hard", Token joins Cartman's new Christian rock band, Faith + 1. Cartman asserted that Token being black automatically meant that he would own and be capable of playing the bass guitar. Although initially skeptical and annoyed with Cartman's racial profiling, Token finds that he is, in fact, fully capable of playing the bass to a high degree of proficiency.
After selling one million albums, Cartman is informed that he cannot achieve platinum certification in a Christian rock band, because Christian rock bands are certified along gold, frankincense and myrrh as opposed to gold, platinum and diamond. Enraged, Cartman yells, "Fuck Jesus!", angering both the Christian crowd gathered at the ceremony and Token, who beats Cartman up.
In "Raisins", Token became Wendy's boyfriend, causing Stan to fall into a deep depression. However, Stan comes to terms with his loss, flipping off both Token and Wendy at the end of the episode. As Wendy and Token are not seen together on any subsequent occasions, it can be assumed this relationship ended at some point following the episode.
In "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", Token is super pissed off at Stan's dad, Randy, for saying the N word on Wheel of Fortune. Stan exacerbates the situation by claiming that he understood fully how the word was hurtful to black people, a claim Token would never accept. However, Stan realized that as a white person, he will never understand how black people feel. Pleased, Token responds "Now you get it, Stan", appearing to make amends.
In "Funnybot", Token was unable to contain his laughter at Tyler Perry's jokes. Throughout the episode, Tyler Perry, as his character Madea, would continually make jokes that only Token found funny. Each time this happened, Token appeared disappointed and embarrassed at himself, but still handed money over to Perry.
Token reluctantly helped Cartman in "1%", who needed a place to stay safe from whoever was killing his stuffed toys. The climactic events of the episode unfolded at Token's house.
Racism has often been a theme based around Token, such as in the episodes "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" and "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson". Since the demise of Chef, Token and his parents are the only regular African-American characters on the show, and perhaps the only African-Americans in the entire town.
Cartman is the most obvious source of racism towards Token. When Cartman decides to make a Christian rock group, he immediately went to Token and demanded that Token get the bass guitar out of his basement. Token, offended, responded that he didn't own a bass and didn't know how to play it anyways. Cartman shoots back that because he's black, he of course owns one and knows how to play it. Much to Token's annoyance, Cartman was right on both counts.
Another incident of Cartman's racist behavior occurred in "Quest for Ratings". As the boys were making a news show, Sexy Action School News, Cartman tells Token to change his voice for presenting because it sounded too black or "ethnic". Token does so, and puts on an overly pompous white stereotype voice. In the episode "Wing", when Cartman and the gang try to become Token's agents to get 10% of prize money from a talent show he was entering, Cartman stated, "Now you're probably wondering 'Hell, why do I need to give you guys ten percent?!'" in a stereotypically affected voice.
In "Imaginationland", his codename is "Blackie". Occasionally, however there are times where Cartman does something perceived as racist without the intent behind it, such as when he threw a rock at Token because Token called him fat in "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000".
In "Free Willzyx", while the other boys have their faces camouflaged black, his is camouflaged white. In "Follow That Egg!", while working with Lola on the egg science project, he was given a brown egg while all the other couples got white eggs; and he understood what this meant and shot Mrs. Garrison an annoyed expression.
In "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", Token was deeply offended by Stan's dad saying "niggers" as an answer on Wheel of Fortune. He eventually forgave Stan when the latter realized that he could never understand how it feels to hear the word from an African-American's viewpoint.
In "Funnybot" Tyler Perry makes a guest appearance as Madea for Jimmy's comedy awards, and Token is the only character shown laughing at his jokes. This suggests a stereotype that African Americans are the only group that finds Madea entertaining.
In "1%" Cartman stays at Token's house to hide from whoever is killing his dolls, convinced that since Token is black, no one would dare attack him there because it would supposedly be a sign of racism.
Despite never having previously touched the instrument, Token is shown to be highly skilled with the bass guitar, as seen in the episode "Christian Rock Hard". However, he is annoyed by this talent, as Cartman tells him it is hereditary due to his ethnicity.
He also has an excellent singing voice, as seen in the episode "Wing". He sang the Lou Rawls song "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" for the Ms. Colorado Beauty Pageant and won $200. Cartman also attributes his vocal skills to his ethnicity. However, he eventually lost his money when he hired an exploitative agent, and wound up serving drinks at Sylvester Stallone's son's wedding.
He also sang a ballad, "Why Can't I Be Like All the Other Kids", in "Here Comes the Neighborhood", but did not sound nearly as impressive as he does in "Wing". This is because his performance in "Wing" was actually a sped-up version of the original Lou Rawls track, while his performance in "Here Comes the Neighborhood" was performed by his standard voice actor, Adrien Beard.
Near the end of the episode "Christian Rock Hard", Token rather easily beat up Cartman with two punches and a kick. This indicates that he is a decent fighter. In "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society", Token was seen fighting the other boys with some proficiency. He is also seen wielding nun-chucks in A Good Time With Weapons .
Token was also a "vigilante" for a while, under the alias TupperWear. Although he is never actually seen fighting, he does, along with the rest of Coon and Friends, try to intervene when cultists corner Mysterion.
Token is seen to be very good at sports, playing on the dodgeball team in "Conjoined Fetus Lady", on the baseball team at first-base in "The Losing Edge", and on the basketball team in "Elementary School Musical". In "Medicinal Fried Chicken", he is seen with the soccer team.
TupperWear is a superhero alter-ego of Token Black, who appears in the superhero arc. He is a member of the superheroes group Coon and Friends. His voice is slightly echoed by the plastic jug surrounding his head. In his imaginary back story, he became TupperWear after he was run over and put back together with Tupperware parts.
Token wears a light purple Armani Exchange shirt with a letter "T" in light orange and a pair of dark gray pants. He is African American and has dark brown skin. He has short black hair.
- To see images of Token Black, visit Token Black/Gallery.
Token is usually level headed, calm and rational. He has also been shown to be highly intelligent. However, this has caused Cartman to label him "a smartass."
He has a strong willingness to stand up for himself and his rights; in "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", he was obviously incredibly upset by Stan's dad Randy saying the N word on Wheel of Fortune, and did not forgive Stan until the latter admitted that he would never be able to understand the connotations of the word.
He was also annoyed by Cartman's constant racial stereotyping in "Christian Rock Hard", but managed to contain his frustrations and continued to work with him. However, he eventually lost his temper with Cartman, physically assaulting him for saying "Fuck Jesus!" in front of a huge crowd of Christian fans.
In "Here Comes the Neighborhood" he took the other kids' teasing personally, causing him to feel like an outcast and not part of the group, possibly indicating that he is sensitive to social criticism. In the episode "Free Willzyx", he helped Kyle and the other boys save a whale, revealing a compassionate attitude.
- See also: Black Residence
Originally known as Token Williams, he is the only minority (aside from Kevin, a Chinese-American) in the main characters' class, and with the loss of Chef, he and his family are the only recurring African American characters in South Park.
His name comes from the phrase "token minority," typically used to describe non-Caucasian persons thrown into small roles in TV shows and movies for the sole purpose of character diversity. In an intentional reversal of racial stereotypes, Token and his parents are said to be the wealthiest family in South Park; his father Steve is a lawyer and his mother Linda is a chemist.
Token and Clyde appear to be good friends. They are usually seen talking to each other in background scenes and both form the core of Craig's group.
It was shown a view times that Token shows a dislike of Cartman. This is probably because Cartman is a racist and insults black people right in front of Token. In the episode "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" Cartman throws a rock at Token because Token called him fat. In the episode "Here Comes the Neighborhood" Cartman was together with some other guys insulting Token for being rich.
On the other hand, Token did agree to help Cartman with his Christian rock band, Faith + 1, in "Christian Rock Hard", but only because he was promised money. Cartman believed that because Token is black, he should both own and be able to play a bass guitar instinctively. Surprisingly, he was right, and Token was even able to play it despite never picking up the instrument before, much to his own frustration.
In the same episode, Token stated that he was "getting sick of [Cartman's] stereotypes!" but nonetheless continued to play for Cartman. After Token called Cartman "tubby", Cartman privately promised himself that he would kill Token. At the end of the episode, after Cartman said "Fuck Jesus!" in front of thousands of people, and called him a "black asshole", Token eventually became enraged, brutally beat him up and walked away.
In "1%", Cartman comes to Token's house for protection, although Token didn't seem very happy about this, especially after learning that it is only because Cartman thinks he will be safe in a house owned by black people.
Stan MarshGenerally, Stan and Token appear to be on relatively good terms, often sitting and talking with each other at the lunch table.
In "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson", Token was incredibly upset that Randy Marsh had said the word "nigger" on national television; the situation was worsened when Stan claimed to understand how black people feel when they hear the word "nigger". However, their feud is resolved by the end of the episode when Stan understands that he can't possibly know how it feels.
Bebe called Token a "midnight blue" in "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset" and invited him in her party. However, it should be noted that at this point Bebe was acting like a total whore and invited almost every boy to her party.
In "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society", Token and Clyde started liking her and thinking she was cool, smart and awesome. However, Token and all the boys were fighting for Bebe at this point, and all the boys thought she was cool and super awesome because of her breasts.
Wendy TestaburgerIn the episode "Raisins", he began going out with Wendy Testaburger, leading her break up with Stan Marsh. However, it seems probable that their relationship was not as long-lived as Wendy's relationship with Stan, as they haven't been shown together again. They were seen together afterwards riding on a ferris wheel in "The Jeffersons". He was also shown with other girls at the party in "Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset".
In "Cartman Finds Love", when the girls are hanging out at Bebe's sleepover, Nichole mentions that Token has a crush on her. Wendy comments that he's really nice and as such she dated him for a while, referencing their relationship in "Raisins".
In "Cartman Finds Love", after being trapped in the boys locker room together by Cartman, Token and Nichole start to build a strong relationship, as a couple. To strengthen their relationship, Cartman planted a teddy bear on both Token and Nichole's doorway. Assuming the teddy bear was by Token, Nichole got upset when she saw "Cuz blacks belong together" written on its collar, which caused her to end her relationship with Token. When she learned from Kyle that it was Cartman who gave the teddy bear, she apologized to Token, who revealed that he was even avoiding her in the first place because she was black. As a result, the two reconcile their differences and got back together again. As of "The Hobbit", it is mentioned that they still are together.
However, the two broke up toward the end of "Skank Hunt"; Nichole gave Token the note while was playing basketball.
Social Standing in General
In the episode "Here Comes the Neighborhood", Token becomes tired of being an outcast due to his wealth, and successfully gets more rich people to move to South Park, all of whom are famous African Americans. At the end of the episode, the other boys tell him they tease each other for any faults they have all the time, and therefore they accepted him into their group. They then decide that from then on, they would tease him for being a pussy. Token responds that he liked getting teased for being rich better.
- Token: "I don't wanna be rich anymore! I wanna eat macaroni and cheese for dinner and, and and wear clothes from J mart!" from "Here Comes the Neighborhood"
- Token: "I don't fit in anywhere." from "Here Comes the Neighborhood"
- Token: "I'm gettin' sick of your stereotypes!" from "Christian Rock Hard"
- Token: "If you really think it's not a big deal, then you really are ignorant. That's all." from "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson"
- Token is also as a very smart character that, aside from Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski, is least affected by Cartman's attempts at manipulation, much to the annoyance of Cartman.
- Token's name was mentioned by writer Brian C. Anderson as an example of South Park being, in the words of Andrew Sullivan, "The best antidote to PC [politically-correct] culture we have."
- In the early seasons, a white version of Token was occasionally seen, usually in background shots. In the Season One commentary, Trey and Matt say it is probably due to the animators being lazy (reusing Token's model and then recoloring his face).
- In "The Succubus", a picture in the background of Herbert Garrison's class depicts a picture of a white token with Token's name on it.
- Token has spoken in every season since his first speaking role in Season Two.
- As of Season Nineteen, Token is 1 of the 4 minorities in South Park Elementary.
- Promotions for South Park: The Stick of Truth featured Token as a blacksmith. This is referenced in the game, as Cartman tells Token that he should be a blacksmith.
- In "Here Comes the Neighborhood", when his classmates decide to insult Token for being a pussy is similar to when everyone mocks Butters Stotch for being wimpy.
- "The Unaired Pilot" - Watches DogPoo roll in dirt.
- "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" - Seen in class.
- "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride" - White version of Token seen in bleachers.
- "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo" - White version of Token seen in background.
- "Chickenlover"- Seen on the playground.
- "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls"- Seen in the classroom.
- "Chef Aid"- Seen standing in the lunch line.
- "Gnomes" - First referred to by name as Token by Mr. Garrison.
- "Tweek vs. Craig" - Second speaking role, though his only line is "Yeah they left!" in a different voice to later episodes.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut - He made some appearances in the movie.
- "Hooked on Monkey Fonics" - He is seen at the dance with Red.
- "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" - Token is hit by a rock Cartman threw at him, resulting in the latter going to prison. He later helps the boys get Cartman out of jail by repealing hate-crime sentence.
- "Chef Goes Nanners" - Token and his family stand with Chef as he protests the racism depicted on the South Park flag.
- "Helen Keller! The Musical" - Token thinks that Gobbles sucks for the play.
- "Here Comes the Neighborhood" - Token, tired of being teased on account of his wealth, invites several rich, black, celebrity families to move to South Park.
- "Professor Chaos" - Token passes the "bus stop test" and the "talent test". He appears to be the best candidate, but the boys say he's too much of a smartass and kick him out.
- "The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers" - Token is chosen to watch the Forbidden Tape (which was actually a hardcore porno) at the gathering. After watching, he becomes traumatized and stops role-playing.
- "Christian Rock Hard" - Token is chosen along with Butters to form a Christian rock band, Faith + 1 with Cartman.
- "Raisins" - Token is Wendy's new boyfriend.
- "It's Christmas in Canada"- Seen in the crowd of people at the Christmas tree lighting in South Park.
- "Good Times with Weapons" - Token and the others in Stan and Craig's gangs play ninjas with each other.
- "The Jeffersons"- Seen in the background riding the Ferris Wheel in Mr.Jefferson's backyard, sitting next to Wendy.
- "Quest for Ratings" - Token is in the boys' extended gang for their news show.
- "Wing" - The boys try to get Token as their new client in their agency, but he is stolen by another agency.
- "Free Willzyx" - Helps the rest of the fourth grade boys free the imprisoned whale.
- "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce"
- "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson" - Token is initially upset after Randy Marsh says the "N" word on live television, but is even more upset when Stan doesn't understand why that's so bad.
- "Lice Capades" - He is shown with the guys giving Kenny a sock bath.
- "The Snuke"
- "The List" - Token is ranked the second cutest boy in the school on the first corrupted list.
- "Super Fun Time" - Token is field trip partners with Clyde.
- "Breast Cancer Show Ever" - Token is with the other boys saying things about Wendy and Cartman fighting.
- "Elementary School Musical" - Token joins the school singing with Bridon Guermo.
- "W.T.F." - Token joins the wrestling show, his wrestling name is Kongo.
- "Coon 2: Hindsight" - He appears as TupperWear, a member of "Coon and Friends".
- "Mysterion Rises" - He appears as TupperWear, a member of "Coon and Friends".
- "Coon vs. Coon & Friends" - Again is TupperWear.
- "Funnybot" - Laughs at every joke Tyler Perry says.
- "You're Getting Old" - Appears in Stan's birthday party.
- "The Last of the Meheecans" - Attends Cartman's slumber party and plays Texans vs. Mexicans.
- "Bass to Mouth" - Appears in Stan's group attempting to stop Eavesdropper.
- "1%" - Cartman stays at his house, thinking that he will be safe from any assaults because Token is black. Token witnesses Cartman 'growing up' along with Stan, Kyle and Kenny.
- "Reverse Cowgirl" - Seen in the background of Mr. Garrison's class.
- "Cash For Gold" - Mentioned when Cartman greets him on the playground trying to get him to sell his mother's jewelry.
- "Faith Hilling" - Seen in the memeing class with the other 4th Grade students.
- "Jewpacabra" - Seen at the Easter egg hunt and at the church guarding the perimeter.
- "Butterballs" - Seen in the background at the school assembly and during Stan's anti-bullying video.
- "Cartman Finds Love" - Begins dating Nichole, a new kid in South Park Elementary.
- "Sarcastaball" - A player on the South Park Cows Sarcastaball team.
- "Raising the Bar" - Helps Kyle make a "documentary" in order to make money.
- "Going Native" - Seen waiting for Butters outside the Boys bathroom.
- "A Scause For Applause"
- "Obama Wins!" - Seen playing basketball with the other boys and joins Stan and Kyle in their effort to out Cartman, for rigging the 2012 presidential election.
- "World War Zimmerman" - Token is harassed by Cartman, who believes he is racially violent following George Zimmerman's acquittal, framed as "Patient Zero" by Cartman, and eventually shot by Cartman, although he survives.
- "Black Friday" - Token is a member of the group that wants to get Xbox Ones on Black Friday.
- "A Song of Ass and Fire" - Token is a member of the group that wants to get Xbox Ones on Black Friday.
- "Titties and Dragons" - Token is a member of the group that wants to get Xbox Ones on Black Friday, but was apathetic when getting the Xbox One after watching Bill Gates kill the Sony President in the Red Robin.
- "Gluten Free Ebola" - Token and the rest of the 4th grade class ostracize the boys after they left school, told everyone to "go fuck" themselves, and started a start-up company, which eventually failed, forcing them to go back to school.
- "The Cissy"- Briefly seen in the school hallway.
- "The Magic Bush" - Token, along with Jimmy and Clyde, mock Craig over his mom's "bush".
- "Grounded Vindaloop" - Seen with the boys along with Jimmy at the lunch table.
- "#REHASH" - Seen talking about Dragon Age with Butters.
- "Stunning and Brave"- Seen in the hallway.
- The City Part of Town- Seen at the Whole Foods Market.
- "You're Not Yelping"- Briefly yells at Cartman for commanding an Army of Yelpers to destroy Whistlin' Willy's.
- "Truth and Advertising"
- "PC Principal Final Justice"- Seen at the school assembly.
- "Member Berries" - Seen in the hallway.
- "Skank Hunt" - Along with several of his classmates, he destroys Eric Cartman's electronic devices and buries them. Nichole breaks up with him.
- "The Damned" - On a group video chat with Kyle Broflovski, Clyde Donovan, Butters Stotch, and Craig Tucker discussing the police's recent visit to Kyle's house.
- "Wieners Out" - Seen participating in Butters' Wieners Out movement.
- "Douche and a Danish" - Seen in the battle between the boys and the girls.
- "Oh, Jeez" - Seen at the school assembly.
- "The End of Serialization as We Know It" - Seen in the video call with Kyle and tells him the worst thing to say on a "United Negro College Fund" website to anger its users.
Token plays no role in the storyline of South Park Let's Go Tower Defense Play! and is one of the 'additional characters' unlocked at the game's completion. He is the same class as Eric Cartman, Wendy Testaburger and Red. His unique special ability is playing blues music, causing damage to all enemies within a small radius of Token.
"Gate Crasher" is part of a main quest where Cartman asks the player to find Token. He can be found in his home within the gated community. After Douchebag purchases a gas mask from Jimbo's Guns, he is immune to the security guard's pepper spray and thus forces a battle with im. Once Douchebag defeats the security guard, he can get to Token's house, where Token adds him on Facebook and gets his equipment to continue roleplaying with the other boys. Token is later seen healing his allies in Jimmy's house and South Park Elementary. He might also be the black kid pretending to be one of Craig's "clones" in the penultimate quest, "Beat Up Clyde".