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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Scott Olson

The Body Of Ohio Activist Amber Evans Was Found In The Scioto River

The body of 28-year-old Amber Evans was found in Ohio's Scioto River Saturday. (March 23) Evans, a beloved activist, had been missing since January 28.

According to reports, Evans' body was found by Columbus Police. The activist worked with several social justice organizations including the Juvenile Justice Coalition in which she was promoted to executive director.

Evans was reported missing in January following a dispute with her boyfriend of 10 years. Local authorities did, however, say her boyfriend has been cooperative.

“Since the beginning of the investigation that there were no known domestic violence issues in Evans’ relationship and there was no reason to suspect foul play,” the Columbus-Dispatch reports.

*UPDATE 3/24/19: The body recovered yesterday, Saturday, 3/23/19 has been positively identified as 28yo Amber Evans. The family has been notified.While this is not the outcome we hoped for, we understand this brings closure for the family. Our thoughts & prayers go out to them.

— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) March 24, 2019

Evans went to work the morning of Jan 28 and left at 5:30 PM after feeling sick. A security camera at a local store captured her purchasing cold medicine and a Snickers. Evans' abandoned car was found later that evening in the Scioto Mile area with her purse in the track. Her cell phone was located the next day in another part of the Scioto Mile.

Tonya Fischer, Evans' mother, took to social media to express her appreciation for the outpouring of support.

“I’m coming on here as a mother who has just found out that I lost my first-born child,” Fischer said, choking up as she spoke. “I love you all, and you all know I’m more than willing to accept all that you have to give... but just give me a moment. Just a moment. Give my family a moment.”


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Jessica Hill

The Father Of A Sandy Hook Shooting Victim Committed Suicide

The father of a first-grader killed during 2012's Sandy Hook school shooting committed suicide.

Jeremy Richman 49, was found dead inside his office space Monday morning (March 25). Local authorities said the medical examiner's office has not confirmed a cause of death.

Richman, a trained scientist, and his wife Jennifer Hensel launched the Avielle Foundation after his 6-year-old daughter Avielle Richman. The foundation is committed to providing funding for the neuroscience behind compassion and violence.

In a 2017 interview with NPR, Richman discussed the heartache he and his wife experienced in the years following Avielle's murder. “It was like a ghost limb syndrome, you know, where you keep thinking ‘Where’s Avielle? Do we need to pick her up?’” he said. “And every day you’d have this [realization] that I don’t have a child, and I don’t have to parent. That was just brutal.”

Richman also said with each new shooting, it just resurrected raw emotions.

“Right after Newtown we had the Boston bombings, and then we’ve had Charleston, Orlando and over a hundred school shootings, some of which make the national news and some don’t,” he said. “Every time this happens it breaks a heart and it chokes us up. To be honest, though, now it comes with a fair degree of frustration and anger because things aren’t changing fast enough. I really get sick of ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and ‘our hearts go out.’ That’s not going to change anything. What I need to hear is: ‘My heart is broken, and my boots are on the ground to fix it.’ ”

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The famous Leonardo Da Vinci painting ' The Mona Lisa' is seen on display in the Grande Galerie of the Louvre museum on August 24, 2005 in Paris, France. Dan Brown is the author of numerous bestsellers, including Digital Fortress, Angels and Demons, and Deception Point. His acclaimed novel 'The Da Vinci Code'has become one of the most widely read books of all time. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Father Who Also Doubles As A Sketch Artist Surprises Daughter With Stunning Portrait Of Her As Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa has seen many variations over the years from Lego mosaics to a "Melanated Mona." The latest remix comes from a talented sketch artist who recreated the iconic painting by switching out Mona with his daughter.

On Saturday (March 23), Laurence "Sketch" Cheatham posted a video of his daughter's reaction to his homage. While using his daughter's own stunning photograph, Cheatham's elegant take almost left his daughter speechless. "That's me! Oh my gosh, I'm the Mona Lisa," she said in awe. "[This is] so cool. Thank you. Oh my gosh. How did you do that?"

In between her amazement, Sketch shared how it took three months to create his now-viral image. His talents don't stop with the new Melanated Mini Mona Lisa. A quick look at his Instagram page shows his life-like portraits of celebrities like Beyonce, Rihanna, Drake and the late Tupac Shakur.

He's also lent his talents to social justice with a poignant sketch called "The League." The image includes an angelic look at victims of unjust police killings like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose and Michael Brown.

Take a look at the adorable viral video and amazing work from Sketch below.


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Been a while, but I’ve been working 💪🏽 Had to trade the pencils in for the paint brushes. Learned a few new tricks, and relearned a few old ones. Now watch this . #2k19 🏆 #art #painting #artist #sketch #art_spotlight #paint #instaart #painter #artoftheday #arts_help #paintings #artwork

A post shared by Laurence Cheatham (@thisissketch) on Feb 20, 2019 at 9:37am PST


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Painting my daughter as Frida Kahlo 💐🙏🏽 House full of #art Photo credit @charliedrizzle #paint #fridakahlo #painter #canvasart #painting #artlife #canvas #artist #artwork #paintingoftheday #paintings #artistsoninstagram #instaart #artsy #arts #paintingwithatwist #artists

A post shared by Laurence Cheatham (@thisissketch) on Mar 14, 2019 at 2:32pm PDT


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#repost of my #pencildrawing of @iamcardib One of my favorite drawings I did this time last year. #cardib

A post shared by Laurence Cheatham (@thisissketch) on Mar 21, 2019 at 3:56pm PDT


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"The League" Please share this with your friends. I want to get this drawing out as far as it can go. Recently, I found a picture of this man holding this sign and it spoke to me. This drawing was inspired by the recent tragedy of Sandra Bland. I wanted to honor those who lost their lives and at the same time show that not everyone is racist and that we're not alone in this. Peace to Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Samuel DuBose and the many others. Feel free to tag and share. #justice #sandrabland #ericgarner #samueldubose #trayvonmartin #michaelbrown #art #drawing #blacklivesmatter @caradelevingne

A post shared by Laurence Cheatham (@thisissketch) on Aug 11, 2015 at 7:01pm PDT


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Pencil work from last year #art #2pac #drawing #sketch @losangelesconfidential

A post shared by Laurence Cheatham (@thisissketch) on Dec 16, 2016 at 9:16pm PST


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Back to using pencils. #charliemurphy #art #arts_help #pencil #sketch #artist #artistsoninstagram #draw #drawing #artwork #artlife #sketching #sketchaday #drawingoftheday #artsy

A post shared by Laurence Cheatham (@thisissketch) on Apr 18, 2017 at 5:21pm PDT

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