17 Black TV Moms Who Remind Us Of Our Own Mamas

In celebration of our 2016 Black Women in Hollywood honoree Tracee Ellis Ross (and her unforgettable role as Bow on ABC's Black-ish!), we're taking a look at our favorite TV moms and the lessons they taught us. From Good Times to Empire, here are our favorite on-screen mothers.

ESSENCE.COM Feb, 23, 2016

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The tone for Blackish is set by Rainbow "Bow" Johnson's warm, humorous and kooky nature. The mother of four believes that her children can exist in a colorless world and strives to teach them values that surpass race.

Rainbow's Life Lesson: Your race doesn't define you. Be good, do good and the rest will fall into place.

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Aside from being the diva that everyone loves, Cookie Lyon has had to jump back in the lives of her children and pick up where they left off. A bona-fide boss, Cookie has wasted no time regulating and guiding the careers of her boys.

Cookie's Life Lesson: Hustle hard and go for yours. When you're the best, they'll remember your name.

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Lisa Landry is the fire-cracker adoptive mom of Tia Landry in "Sister, Sister." When she learns that her daughter has a twin she becomes the funny, loving mother of two in an instant.

Lisa's Life Lesson: When you fall, pick yourself up, dust off and reapply your lipstick.

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Clair Huxtable remains the epitome of Black motherhood on TV. The successful lawyer managed to raise five healthy and happy children.

Clair’s Life Lesson: Work hard to achieve your dreams and always remember what matters most.

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As loving grandmother to Claire and Cliff’s children on “The Cosby Show,” Anna Huxtable (actress Clarice Taylor, RIP) was sassy yet warm. And she always had oodles of advice.

Anna’s Life Lesson: Live life to the fullest.

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On “Everybody Hates Chris” Rochelle runs her house with an iron fist and expects only the best from her children—because she knows they have it in them.

Rochelle’s Life Lesson: When mom is happy, everyone is happy, so keep me smiling.

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Tasha Mack, the take-no-mess hothead on “The Game,” has a special relationship with her son Malik. She is his biggest fan—and biggest critic, pushing him to be his best on and off the football field. Tasha had Malik at an early age, making her relatable to many young moms, as she begins to live for herself again after spending most of her young life caring for her son.

Tasha’s Life Lesson: Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself and always remember how great you are.

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Wanda made a huge adjustment when she instantly went from zero children to mom of three on “The Bernie Mac Show.” She loved them as if they were her own.

Wanda’s Life Lesson: Be open to life’s unexpected blessings.

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Janet Kyle (Tisha Campbell), an outgoing mother of three, kept her family smiling, while dishing out tough love when necessary.

Janet’s Life Lesson: Love hard and often. Laughter is good for the soul.

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Aunt Helen’s warm nature on “The Jamie Foxx Show” reminded viewers that motherly love can come from many different places and hearts.

Aunt Helen’s Life Lesson: I might not always like everything you do, but I will always love you.

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The role of stepmother isn’t always easy, especially to a teen girl, but Dee (Sheryl Lee Ralph) gave a great example for other women to observe.

Dee’s Life Lesson: Success is a journey…not a destination.

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On “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Vivian Banks, was a sharp and sophisticated mother of three.

Vivian’s Life Lesson: Yes, you really can have it all; just make sure you define what “all” is and remember to take care of home first.

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The sole provider for her clan, “Thea” was always hard at work with a big smile on her face, and she did whatever possible to keep her family safe and sound.

Thea’s Life Lesson: The only person who can define you is you.

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A mother’s job is never done, even when her children are grown and gone, which was the case for Louise Jefferson on “The Jeffersons.”

Louise’s Life Lesson: You can’t buy or sell class, so respect yourself and others will follow suit.

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Florida Evans was the confidante of her entire family and always had a positive word to say.

Florida ‘s Life Lesson: Tough times don’t last; tough people do.

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Willona Woods set aside her fabulous single life as an independent woman on “Good Times” to take in Penny, a girl was was abused by her mother.

Willona’s Life Lesson: Always keep your head up and know your worth. You are somebody!

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America’s first Black TV mother in a starring role was the title character in the series “Julia.” The widow moves on with grace after her husband is killed in Vietnam and is determined to raise her son to be a productive member of society.

Julia’s Life Lesson: The only thing constant in the world is change. Live life with an open heart and expect the unexpected.