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  • Writer's pictureWAJ

Black Television Shows That Made Us Laugh, Cry, and Think


The representation of African Americans on television has come a long way since the days of Amos 'n' Andy. Today's TV shows often feature black actors in leading roles and tackle issues like racism and social injustice head-on. But there have been several unforgettable moments in black television history that still stand out today. Let's take a look back at some of these iconic moments and how they shaped our culture.


The Cosby Show (1984-1992)

It was the 1980s and Bill Cosby had just created one of the most successful family sitcoms in American history. The groundbreaking show featured an affluent African American family at its center, which was a first for television. With its endearing characters, witty humor, and positive messages about education and family values, The Cosby Show made an indelible mark on the landscape of television comedy. It was also the first time many viewers saw a black father portrayed as having such an important role in his children’s lives – something that still resonates with viewers today.


Living Single (1993-1998)

Living Single not only featured strong female characters at its core; it also showed us what it means to be part of a supportive community of friends who were always there for each other no matter what. While we watched these women navigate their careers, relationships, and lives in general, we laughed along with them during their triumphs and cried with them during their struggles. Living Single is remembered fondly by fans because it gave us an honest look into the lives of modern black women without relying on stereotypes or cliches.

In Living Color (1990-1994)


This sketch comedy show featured an all-star cast that included Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, David Alan Grier - as well as Keenen Ivory Wayans who wrote, directed and starred in every episode - giving us side-splitting skits about everything from race relations to pop culture icons. In Living Color pushed boundaries with its edgy humor that touched on topics like police brutality with courage yet still made us laugh until our sides hurt! This show paved the way for other sketch comedies to follow suit - such as Saturday Night Live - but none have quite matched its level of irreverence or sheer talent!

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (1990-1996)

Will Smith had already made a name for himself as an actor before he landed his iconic role on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. But it was his performance in this hit show that catapulted him to international stardom. From his awkward dance moves to his hilarious one-liners, Smith’s portrayal of Will Smith is still regarded as one of the greatest performances in television history.


Scandal (2012-2018):

Shonda Rhimes’s political drama Scandal has been praised for its groundbreaking storylines and its ability to explore complicated topics such as race relations and gender politics in an honest, thoughtful manner. One particular standout moment came during Season 4 when Huck (played by Guillermo Diaz) confronted the Vice President about racism in America with a powerful monologue that left viewers speechless. These are just some examples of unforgettable moments in black television history that left lasting impressions on audiences around the world. From The Cosby Show to Living Single to In Living Color – these iconic shows not only entertained us but also allowed us to see ourselves represented in ways that prior generations never had before. We owe much gratitude to these trailblazing shows for paving the way for more diverse casting decisions throughout television today!

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