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The changing of the Black father image on TV

Good Times :1974-1979

(Photo Source: Good Times cast CBS-TV Promo photo)

(Photo Source: Good Times cast CBS-TV Promo photo)

John Amos portrayed James Evans Sr., the hardworking Black father who loved his wife and children on the show “Good Times.” The Evans family lived in a Chicago housing project. This presented the realities of urban family life for many African American families. This also introduced white America to aspects of Black inner-city life.  Lack of jobs, hunger, child abuse, gang violence and Black self-pride were explored deeply on this show. As a father, James Evans protected his family through a strong moral code that included love and discipline. The character was killed off by the show’s producers when John Amos complained about negative Black imagery on the show. Specifically, the increasingly stereotypical buffoonery of Jimmy Walker, who portrayed his eldest son, JJ Evans. Additionally, the fact that the father (read: Black man) was always losing his job was questioned by Amos as well.

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