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Top 10 Best Black Family Sitcoms (Pg. 3)

3. Sanford and Son

As Fred Sanford, Redd Foxx introduced the world to single parenthood daddy style via Sanford and Son. A reworking of the white British comedy Steptoe and Son, this black American version seized the groundbreaking language and spirit of 1970s comedy by hiring show writers that included Richard Pryor and Paul Mooney who occasionally peppered its dialogue with the N-word. And while Fred delivered a whole lot of ‘You big dummies’ to son Lamont (Demond Wilson) at the end of the day this duo was as tight, hip and cool as televised father and son could be. Not only were they in business together as junkyard partners but their family ties were subtle as they were strong. This was evident by Lamont’s affectionate references to his 'Pop' and the bold gesture of an adult son not only living with his senior citizen Dad but participating in the simple and loving tasks of preparing his meals as well. And when you added Aunt Esther, Uncle Woodrow and friends Rollo, Julio, Bubba and Grady to the mix the quips and antics on Sanford and Son were always fast, flying and extremely funny.

 

 

2. The Jeffersons

With this All In The Family's spinoff's finger popping theme song (sung by Good Times star Ja’Net DuBois) centered on the exploits of George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) "moving on up" it could sometimes be forgotten that The Jeffersons was actually a family sitcom. But since George and Louise "Weezy" Jefferson (Isabel Sanford) had one son, Lionel who was coincidentally played by two different actors both named Mike Evans (one was co-creator of Good Times) the longest running black sitcom in television history definitely qualifies as one. Their neighbors, television’s first interracial married couple Tom (Franklin Cover) and Helen Willis (Roxie Roker) turned Jeffersons in-laws when their daughter Jenny married Lionel. And in between moments of George calling Tom honky, dropping the N-bomb and making good on literally putting his foot up the butts out of the undesirables he kicked out of his home George eternally remained a good dad to Lionel, loving husband to Weezy and a good verbal sparring partner for sassy maid Florence (Marla Gibbs.)

 

 

1. (Tie) Good Times

This Maude spinoff was an instant trailblazer its depiction of the black family in America because it was the first. The genesis of its legendary status began behind the scenes when Esther Rolle, who played Evans family matriarch Florida Evans fought to have John Amos cast as her husband James when show producers were determined to make her a single mom. And right or wrong what a strong, kick ass and protective dad James Evans Jr. was to J.J.(Jimmie Walker), Thelma (BernNadette Stanis) and youngest son Michael (Ralph Carter). The Good Times television legacy will forever be marred and tarnished by critics, academics (and by cast mates Rolle and Amos) for supposedly relying too heavily on comic relief turned cultural phenom Walker's J.J. character and his Dy-no-mite catchphrase (see also sitcom entry# 4 on this list for Family Matters' depiction of Steve Urkel.) But 40 years later television audiences coast to coast and around the world still laugh at this cult classic hit. Not only has Good Times been a endless notable quotable in hip hop lyrics and spoofed for generations but it's especially relatable in these recession challenged times. The reason? Because the fictional Evans family taught us how to take the hard knocks and bad times of real life and always make them good.

 

 

1.  (Tie) The Cosby Show

When it debuted in 1984, Bill Cosby changed the face of the black family in America with this groundbreaking sitcom. Regardless of race creed or color never before or since has all of America and most of the world identified, emulated or wanted to be a Cliff, Clair (Phylicia Rashad), Sondra (Sabrina LeBeouf), Denise (Lisa Bonet), Theo (Malcolm Jamal Warner), Vanessa (Tempest Bledsoe) or Rudy Huxtable (Keisha Knight Pullinam). Never had television viewers ever laid eyes on such an attractive, clean cut brood of kids with a sexy set of parents who still looked like they were intimate. And to top it off this sophisticated bunch was living a very comfortable New York City urban Brooklyn upper middle class lifestyle. During the crack-infested social program deficient times of the Big 80s, The Cosby Show had detractors who criticized it for not being realistic to the plights of poorer blacks (see sitcom entry #9 Julia). But Cosby's behind the scenes efforts to be both funny and ensure that humor was never demeaning; resulted in a timeless, classic show that transcended race in its depiction of the American family. The Cosby Show was hilarious and smart without ever being stereotypical and raised the comedic standards bar of black situation comedy to heights it has not seen since the show ended in 1992.

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Mannie Fresh And Scott Storch Go Toe-To-Toe In Instagram Live Battle

Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch went up against each other on Wednesday (April 1), for the latest Instagram Live competition commissioned by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.

Fresh and Storch each played 20 of the many hits in their respective catalogs which included, Juvenile’s “Back That A** Up,” Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama,” “Still Fly” by the Big Tymers, Lil Wayne’s “Go DJ,” “Lean Back” by Fat Joe featuring Remy Ma, Beyonce’s “Naughty Girl,” “Baby Boy” and “Me Myself,” 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop,” Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.,” and B.G.’s “Bling Bling” featuring Big Tymers and the Hot Boyz.

More than 200,000 viewers signed on to watch the epic battle, and although Swizz declared Storch the winner, the internet is still debating over which producer came out victorious. Either way though, the true winners were the fans.

 

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Score card from the people !! Thank you @scottstorchofficial & @manniefresh for doing it for the people at home aka the culture ! We also hit 202k tonight VERZUZ !!! Scott won tonight but so did the culture ! @timbaland it’s a wrap 🙌🏽

A post shared by No Breaks In 2020 (@therealswizzz) on Apr 1, 2020 at 7:38pm PDT

Storch versatility is too crazy, and he had hit after hit after hit. But Mannie legit created a sound for one of the most influential record labels ever. A sound. Like “Rich N’s” off 400 Degreez never made the top of the charts, but that’s a bonafide classic record.

— Justin Tinsley (@JustinTinsley) April 2, 2020

Other than like 2-3 songs, Mannie played music from one label. One label! Cash Money Records. One of the greatest record labels of all time, any genre. What a run.

— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) April 2, 2020

Back That Azz Up is a negro spiritual and because of that, the ancestors are PROUD. We salute the legend, Mannie Fresh.

— Maura Chanz (@maurachanz) April 2, 2020

SCOTT STORCH JUST HUMBLY WASHED MANNIE FRESH THIS ENTIRE BATTLE!!!!

His Range Is Too Elite For Mannie

— DJ First Class™ 🏁 (@1DJFirstClass) April 2, 2020

Nobody ever got ass thrown on em to still DRE.. mannie won to me 😂

— Le$ 🥩x🦐™ (@SteakxShrimp) April 2, 2020

Scott won.... Mannie fucked around with some bullshit too many times https://t.co/m1Em2C3XjW

— Kojo Ebro (@oldmanebro) April 2, 2020

The digital fracas was of course all in good fun as both sides complimented each other, and vowed to work together. Scott also plugged his forthcoming album and teased a new single with Ozuna and Tyga. Mannie promoted his “Virus Killaz” DJ live stream mix and Sunday gospel mix.

“After this, let’s get together and change the world,” Fresh told Storch. “There is no harm in this. We will love each other as brothers….We love you and your crew.”

T-Pain and Lil Jon are apparently next in line for an Instagram live music bout scheduled for Saturday (April 4) at 9 p.m. EST.

In the meantime, peep a snippet from the tonight's battle below.

Y’all wanna see a dead body.... Scott Storch Won. pic.twitter.com/30rm8DaWjQ

— The Academy Music Business (@BenjaminEnfield) April 2, 2020

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Al Sharpton Calls On Black Churches To Cancel In-Person Services Amid Pandemic

With Easter and Palm Sunday coming up soon, Rev. Al Sharpton called leaders of the nation’s largest historically Black churches, and other faith leaders, to urge them not to hold in-person services during the global pandemic.

In a video conference call on Wednesday (April 1), Sharpton spoke with several Black church leaders about discontinuing “services that are not online.” The conference call was fueled in part by a Louisiana megachurch pastor being arrested for holding a church service and a funeral over the last week.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pastor Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church, was charged with six counts of disobeying power of government after holding a funeral last week with more than 100 mourners, and a church service on Tuesday (March 31) evening.

I convened a call with the heads of the nation’s largest historically Black religious denominations & other faith leaders to call on clergy to refrain from having church services as we head into Palm Sunday and Easter Holy Week. pic.twitter.com/TygPkhTD0g

— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) April 1, 2020

Spell “willfully” violated the “local coronavirus stay-at-home order,” Sharpton reportedly said on Wednesday.

“I have been arrested over thirty times for civil rights & civil disobedience — twice for ninety days & another forty-five days for standing up for people’s civil and human rights,” Sharpton tweeted. “These separate incidents involving leaders of faith putting people’s lives in danger is not a matter of civil or human rights, nor is it a testament of faith.”

Florida megachurch pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was also arrested for holding two church services this past Sunday (March 29). Following his arrest, Howard-Browne said that he had no choice but to temporarily shut the church down. “I have to do this to protect the congregation — not from the virus but from a tyrannical government.”

Howard-Browne could have the two misdemeanor charges against him dropped after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis deemed places of worship as “essential business” in a mandatory statewide stay-at-home order issued Wednesday.

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Devon Still Celebrates Daughter, Leah’s, Cancer Being In Remission For 5 Years

Former NFL player Devon Still has lots to celebrate after his 9-year-old daughter reached a milestone in her previous battle with cancer. Leah Still recently marked five years of being cancer-free and to honor the achievement, her doting dad whipped up a gourmet dinner since many restaurants are closed in an attempt to calm the spread of COVID-19.

“Leah didn’t get to go to the steakhouse she wanted to to celebrate so I put on my chef hat and brought the steakhouse to her,” the ex-professional athlete wrote on Instagram last week alongside a video of a smiling Leah seated at a table with homemade steak, lobster tails, and asparagus.

 

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Leah didn’t get to go to the steakhouse she wanted to to celebrate so I put on my chef hat and brought the steakhouse to her. #CancerFree #LeahStrong

A post shared by Devon Still (@stillinthegame) on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:03pm PDT

In a follow-up post, Still shared an image of Leah sleeping with a mustache and beard drawn on her face. “This is why we fought so hard..to be able to have these moments,” he captioned the photo. “#QuarantinePrankWars start now. Parents 1…Kids -0.”

 

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This is why we fought so hard..to be able to have these moments 😂😂 #QuarantinePrankWars starts now. Parents - 1....Kids - 0. Where the rest of my parents at? It’s time to show our kids who’s boss. Tag me in your photos lol.

A post shared by Devon Still (@stillinthegame) on Mar 26, 2020 at 7:12am PDT

At just 4 years old, Leah was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma, a rare cancer typically found in young children that usually develops in nerve cells and affects small glands, but can spread to different organs. Leah underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in 2015. Last year, she shared some advice for other children fighting cancer. “I would say stay strong and it doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, it matters what’s on the inside,” Leah told the TODAY show. “And you’re not fighting this alone, ever.”

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