Black Fathers on The Small Screen

Black Fathers on The Small Screen
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 18, 2010

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If there was ever a character for whom the song “Papa Don’t Take No Mess” should have been a soundtrack it was James Evans. Sr. (John Amos) on “Good Times.” Though he struggled to find and keep jobs Evans, Sr. maintained his dignity.

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The Cosbys

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Phillip Banks (James Avery) on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was born to a poor family and worked his way up to becoming a lawyer and living in Bel-Air. He never let his children (and nephew, played by Will Smith) forget the importance of hard work.

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Julius Rock (Terry Crews) on “Everybody Hates Chris” had an insatiable desire to cut costs and his greatest lessons often revolved around saving a penny, or two. Anxious to save money over the holidays, he once forced his family to celebrate Kwanzaa instead of Christmas because it meant less gifts.

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On “Run’s House” Reverend Run is keen on being involved in every aspect of his children’s lives. Like a true hip hop dad he encourages their entrepreneurial endeavors at every opportunity.

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Who wouldn’t want a dad as cool as Snoop Dogg? Even at home the rapper maintained his mild-mannered demeanor. He also made sure not to let his children forget where he came from by exposing them to life in the ’hood.

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Always wise-cracking and cranky, Curtis “Pops” Payne (LaVan Davis) on “House of Payne” keeps the household in stitches, even though his jokes more often than not fall flat.

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