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The changing of the Black father image on TV

The Jeffersons: 1975-1985

(Photo Source: The Jeffersons cast CBS-TV Promo photo)

(Photo Source: The Jeffersons cast CBS-TV Promo photo)

Sherman Hemsley portrayed successful Black businessman George Jefferson.  The show hinted at his early years of growing up in poverty and developing the mindset to succeed. His formula for success was passed on to his college graduate son. Still, George was not a bourgeoisie negro because he often spoke his mind, at times, to his detriment. Often, it was to prove to other rich white folks that he had just as much money and lived in the same building. And, his clothes were impeccable. This dad wore camel-hair coats and vested suits with ties and pocket hankies. His business may have been dry cleaning, but his attire signaled a man who owed a chain of dry cleaners which he did. Understandably, the show was an acceptable but somewhat discomforting image for many white viewers. Conversely, “The Jefferson’s” was a hit with Black families and advertisers.

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