30 Best Black American Sitcoms

1. The Cosby Show (1984-1992) 8 years

Network: NBC

Show setting – Brooklyn, New York

Worst kept secret ever, right? After running for eight seasons on NBC and receiving accolades as one of the best TV shows of the 1980s, The Cosby Show is the best black sitcom ever produced. Building on the strengths of its trailblazing predecessors, The Cosby Show has been credited by TV Guide with “almost single-handedly reviving the sitcom genre” and NBC after ABC chose not to pick it up—big mistake. It’s been over 28 years since the show premiered on NBC, and ABC still has to be salty about their decision to pass. Shows like The Cosby Show—which served as the model for so many modern sitcoms—only come around once. Mistakes happen though; the Portland Trailblazers did pass on Michael Jordan in 1984, coincidentally the same year that The Cosby Show began.

For eight magical seasons, The Cosby Show revolved around the Huxtables, a well-to-do African-American family living in a Brooklyn brownstone. Not only were both parents present, they were extremely successful. Cliff was a doctor and Claire was a lawyer. They had five children: four girls and one boy. It went Sondra, Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and Rudy. All five of the Huxtable children were based on Bill Cosby’s actual children, including his late son Ennis who suffered from dyslexia, providing further inspiration for Theo’s character.

Each of the Huxtable children attended college during the show’s run, with the exception of Rudy, and only because she was too young. Denise followed in her parents and grandfather’s footsteps at Hillman College, though she would eventually drop out to find herself through an alternative path, traveling to Africa and eventually marrying a Navy man. The Huxtables represented a nuclear family with successful parents who passed their values along to their children and pushed them to succeed, even when they fought their hardest against it.

By the end of the series, The Cosby Show had built a lineage of success from grandparents to children that hadn’t been seen before on television, regardless of race. The Cosby Show played a huge role in the lives of all races, so when Jim Carey’s character from The Cable Guy referred to himself as “the bastard son of Claire Huxtable,” you understood and believed him.

In spite of its success—Emmy awards, Golden Globes, NAACP Image Awards and People’s Choice Awards—people still managed to criticize the show. It was called unrealistic; people chided it for avoiding the subject of racism and neglecting the struggles of the underclass. If the only complaints were that the show portrayed African-Americans too positively, then there was nothing to complain about at all.

Did the Huxtables represent every black family? No, but neither did the families on previous shows. Not only did The Cosby Show offer a look into the life of an affluent African-American family, it also offered TV’s first look at the HBCU through Hillman College. This paved the way for A Different World, and set up great crossover episodes between the two shows.

The Cosby Show’s guest appearances were almost unmatched: Stevie Wonder, Senator Bill Bradley, Dick Vitale, Jim Valvano, Adam Sandler, and a very young Alicia Keys, just to name a few. Everyone wanted some of the good-natured success.

And you can’t talk about the show without talking about style, as Cliff’s collection of Coogi sweaters will forever be known as “Cosby Sweaters.” The “Gordon Gartrelle” shirt episode will never be forgotten.

The Cosby Show ended during the L.A. Riots, and holds the crown as not only the best black television show, but one of the best televisions shows ever made. There will never be another like it. There can’t be.

 

2. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)  6 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – Bel Air, Los Angeles, California

In the fall of 1990, a skinny kid from West Philly decided to try his hand at acting. As rap’s first Grammy award-winner, it couldn’t be that hard, right? After making a name for himself as a hip-hop star in the ’80s, a guy named Will Smith found himself in a bit of a financial bind. Consistent cash would fix that. Enter NBC, and an offer to star in a sitcom loosely based on his own life and that of co-producer Benny Medina, who, after growing up in a rough neighborhood, moved in with a wealthy family in Beverly Hills. You know this story.

You know it, because you know the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. A kid gets into some neighborhood beef that scares his mother so badly she sends him to Cali to live with their wealthy family. There, our hero becomes Public Enemy No. 1 in the Banks’ household, except in the eyes of his Aunt Viv and youngest cousin, Ashley. There’s preppy cousin Carlton, with his fondness for Tom Jones. There’s Uncle Phil, or the Honorable Judge Philip Banks. There’s Geoffrey, the wry butler. These are the characters you remember.

This is a moment you’ll never forget: Will’s biological father, Lou, reappears and tries to develop a relationship with his son. Uncle Phil has never respected Lou for abandoning Will and his mother, and doesn’t want to see his nephew hurt again. When that happens, just as Phil predicted, the embrace between Will and his uncle goes down as one of the most heart-wrenching television moments of the 20th century. You watched Will Smith become an actor, the man who would grow to command millions.

During its six-season run on NBC, The French Prince of Bel-Air was a juggernaut. Viewers learned the theme song without trying. Smith even allowed “Summertime,” his classic track recorded with DJ Jazzy Jeff, to fuel the show’s popularity and vice versa. Hell, the legendary DJ landed a role on the show as Will’s friend, the one whose undying love for Hilary got him regularly ejected from the Banks’ residence.

Love for the ladies was a recurring theme, allowing Will to come across some of the baddest women of the time: Stacey Dash, Tyra Banks, Robin Givens, and Nia Long. Furthermore, the The Fresh Prince had a storied history of guest appearances that we chronicled right here.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was the perfect complement and eventual successor to The Cosby Show, as it depicted an upper-class African-American family that wasn’t out of touch with the realities of black America. It wasn’t quite as funny as Martin, but it dealt with a broader range of subjects. That makes it one of the better television shows of all-time—period.
3. A Different World (1987-1993) 6 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – Richmond, Virginia

“That’s a different world like Cree Summer’s.”

This reference to the Winifred “Freddie” Brooks character played by Cree Summer is one of many A Different World nods from the college dropout himself, Kanye West.

The Cosby Show spinoff followed Denise Huxtable as she followed in her parents’ footsteps at the esteemed HBCU, Hillman College. Denise dropped out (or rather, was written out because of Lisa Bonet’s pregnancy), and the show shifted its focus to the frustratingly prissy Whitley Gilbert and he of the flip-shades, Dwayne Wayne.

Not only did A Different World show historically black fraternities and sororities at work on Hillman’s campus, it also dared to talk about date rape, skin tone, class struggle, the Persian Gulf War, domestic violence, and the L.A. riots. It was one of the first television shows—black or otherwise—to address HIV and AIDS.

Executive producer Debbie Allen deserves the lion’s share of the credit for the show’s far-reaching seriousness, as she drew on her own experiences at Howard University when creating the world of Hillman.

A Different World’s connection to The Cosby Show allowed for several crossover episodes between the two, but the level of star power went far deeper than that. The list of important greats and soon-to-be-megastars is enormous: Diahann Carroll. Patti LaBelle. Richard Roundtree. Gladys Knight. Jesse Jackson. Heavy D. En Vogue. Whoopi Goldberg. Halle Berry.

Hell, 2Pac even popped up as Lena’s boyfriend from back home, allowing viewers to bask in the the well-documented chemistry between Shakur and his old friend Jada Pinkett-Smith. Lena also came face-to-face with her namesake, the legendary Lena Horne, during the show’s final season.

For bravery of subject matter dealt with and for the premise alone—young black people at college—A Different World is one of the most important (and best) TV shows in hisotry.

4. Martin (1992-1997)  5 years

Network: Fox

Show Setting – Detroit, Michigan

Very few programs remain every bit as entertaining over 15 years after their conclusion as Martin, a show about a big-eared radio DJ from Detroit with enough personality for an entire cast. Fox was the network to watch back in the 1990s, rivaling the popularity of NBC’s “Must See TV” block of Thursday night programming with a lineup that drew an engaged urban audience. Between New York Undercover, Living Single, and Martin, Fox’s Thursday night lineup ran the triangle offense better than the Chicago Bulls did in the 1990s. During the 1996-1997 television season, these shows were the three highest rated programs among African-American households, with Martin serving as the jump-off for one of the best two hours of television ever organized.

Comedian and actor Martin Lawrence played Martin Payne, a DJ for WZUP (and eventually the host of his own talk show, “Word on the Street”). Central to the show was Martin’s relationship with Gina Waters, the large-headed (literally) love of his life. They broke up and got back together throughout the series, but their genuine love provided a complement to the show’s constant comedy.

Also important were Martin’s relationships with his biggest adversary, Gina’s best friend, Pam James, and his two best friends, the comically inept Cole Brown and the tall, bald, and possibly unemployed Tommy Strawn.

Beyond the central cast, the wild gang of side characters played by Lawrence regularly stole the spotlight. Martin had no problem dressing up in drag to play his too-hood-for-her-own-good neighbor Sheneneh, or Martin’s mother, the mustached Mama Payne. Lawrence’s other legendary characters include Jerome the has-been Detroit pimp, Dragonfly Jones, Bob from Marketing, Roscoe, and Otis.

From Jim’s Barbershop to Nipsey’s Lounge, Martin had classic locations where the main cast ran into other hilarious characters, like Tracy Morgan’s Hustle Man. Even when Martin retired to the solace of his own home, he couldn’t escape unexpected visits from Bruh-man, who climbed through the window before using that infamous slow bop to help himself to whatever he wanted from Martin’s apartment. Martin also had numerous amazing guest stars like Richard Pryor, Billy Dee Williams, Keith Washington, Snoop Dogg, Tommy Hearns, Randall Cunningham, Method Man, Jodeci, and even Biggie. No show is landing cameos like that.

Not only was Martin instrumental in African-American culture and hip-hop culture, it played a role in popular culture that can’t be argued. How else would Complex be able to compose a guide of the show’s sneaker history? Despite only being on the air for five seasons, Martin left behind so many great characters and scenes that kids will be getting disciplined at school forever thanks to syndication. Think about it like this: two decades have passed since the show began, and people are still talking about how they “can’t pay the five.” That says a lot.

5. Sanford and Son (1972-1977)  5 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – Los Angeles, California

The South Central L.A. neighborhood of Watts received a surprising amount of love from TV during the 1970s, with the most coming from Sanford and Son. The U.S. version of the British show Steptoe and Son, Sanford and Son gave black America a slightly less abrasive answer to Archie Bunker. Played by the legendary Red Foxx, Fred Sanford was a wily old coot who constantly insulted others with his quick wit. The most frequent target of his jabs? His son, Lamont, who helped him sell antiques and, well, junk.

Lamont longed to step out on his own and live a life free of his father’s critiques, but his genuine love for his old man—and Sanford’s constant threats—kept him around. It was just the two of them, as Fred’s beloved wife and Lamont’s mother, Elizabeth, had long since passed away. In the show (and Foxx’s) most famous gag, Sanford would threaten to join her in Heaven via a heart attack in a desperate attempt to get his way.

In addition to providing a model for the successful African-American sitcom, Sanford and Son was a smash hit across audiences. Even when Foxx temporarily left the show because of a contract dispute, its popularity never flagged. The show lives on through the character of Fred Sanford, and through every rap song that’s ever sampled the theme.
6. The Jeffersons (1975-1985)  10 years

Network: CBS

Show Setting – New York, New York

The Jeffersons represented the American Dream. With 11 seasons, it’s one of the longest-running sitcoms on American television, and it all began as a simple spin-off of All in the Family. That’s right, notorious racist Archie Bunker deserves some credit for bringing George Jefferson into the world.

The Jeffersons focused on George and Louise Jefferson, who happen upon a large sum of money. Along with their son Lionel, they moved from Queens to a deluxe apartment in the sky—a luxury high-rise in Manhattan. Florence, their housekeeper, provided comic relief, frequently spazzing on George because of his hairline and height. Both attributes became Sherman Hemsley’s trademarks, along with his signature dance.

The Jeffersons remained popular well into the 1980s. During its eighth season, it became the first African-American sitcom since Sanford and Son to crack the top five in ratings. It amassed 13 Emmy nominations, and in 1981, Isabel Sanford (who played Louise, or “Weezie,” as she was known) became the second black actress to win the award for Best Actress.

After The Jeffersons ended in 1985, Hemsley and Sanford continued to reprise their roles on other shows, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where they bought the Banks’ house in the series finale. Hemsley and Marla Gibbs appeared as George and Florence on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne before Hemsley’s death last summer at the age of 74.

7. The Boondocks (2005-2009) 4 years

Network: Cartoon Network

Show Setting – Chicago

Aaron McGruder should go down as one of the bravest and most intelligent creative minds in the history of entertainment for transforming his comic strip, The Boondocks, into a pop culture phenomenon, one of the most important television programs—animated or not—ever created. The strip was first printed in the University of Maryland, College Park’s student newspaper under then-editor Jayson Blair. McGruder succeeded in selling its rights to Sony Pictures after the comic crept into The Source.

The animated series focuses on the Freeman family, who have moved from Chicago’s South Side to the white suburb of Woodcrest. From this juxtaposition comes some of the best satire and social analysis to hit the small screen.

Brothers Huey and Riley, though at different stages of their lives, often find themselves fighting against a common cause or enemy, with hilarious results. Their grandfather, known as “Grandad,” their sole guardian, regularly gets in over his head. But ask viewers and they’ll mention one character: Uncle Ruckus, the scene-stealing Uncle Tom, who made viewers cringe in the same way that Django Unchained’s Stephen did late in 2012. Of course, you can’t forget rapper Thugnificent, whose downward spiral into the world of the Average Joe was brilliant, sad, and funny.

The genius of The Boondocks is its lampooning of current events and important figures. Few are safe from the show’s darts. Past targets include Bill Cosby, Tyler Perry, and most famously, BET. McGruder’s decision to take on factions and figures that are considered “untouchable” demonstrate real courage. With three seasons in the vault, fans are patiently waiting for the fourth. Considering some of the world’s events since the third season concluded, a new string of Boondocks episodes is exactly what television needs.

8. Living Single (1993-1998)  5 years

Network: Fox

Show Setting – Brooklyn, New York

It’s only natural that Complex offer some love for a show featuring a magazine editor as the protagonist. Living Single starred Queen Latifah as Khadijah James, the mastermind behind Flavor, a fictional monthly. James lived in Brooklyn with her cousin Synclaire and friend Régine, the would-be diva. Rounding out the bunch was pit bull lawyer Max and their two male counterparts, handyman Overton and “Baker Magic” himself, stockbroker Kyle Barker.

The show ran for five seasons on Fox, and was part of its storied Thursday night lineup. Not only was the show popular for its portrayal of six black twentysomethings trying to make it in New York, it was adored because all of the principal characters were women.

Viewers were hooked on Khadijah’s quest for success, Régine’s quest to live the fabulous life, the sweet relationship between Synclaire and Overton, and blatant sexual tension between Max and Kyle, but they also loved the endless stream of guest appearances. Thanks in part to the popularity of black television at the time and Queen Latifah’s celebrity status, the show was able to attract everyone from Ed McMahon to Grant Hill. Oh, and of course Queen Latifah’s New Jersey protégés Naughty By Nature appeared. It was only right.

9. Family Matters (1989-1998) 9 years

Network: ABC/CBS

Show Setting – Chicago

Nobody thought this Perfect Strangers spin-off would last for nearly a decade, but Family Matters went on to become one of the longest-running sitcoms with a predominantly African-American cast.

Set in Chicago, it told the story of the Winslow family, a middle-class bunch led by parents Carl and Harriette. When the show began, they had three children: Eddie, Laura, and Judy. Sometime after the fourth season, Judy was inexplicably written out, leaving viewers wondering what happened to her years after the show ended. As it turns out, actress Jaimee Foxworth dabbled in the adult entertainment industry and ended up on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Joining the nuclear family at the Winslow home was Carl’s all-knowing mother, Estelle, Hariette’s sister Rachel and her young son Richie. But as history has made clear, the true star of the show was Jaleel White’s Steven Q. Urkel, the annoying neighbor introduced halfway through the show’s first season.

Urkel charmed audiences with his unrequited love for Laura. Of course, the equally nerdy Myra Monkhouse shook this up, a sign that the writers were looking for a change. Not long there after, the “Stefan Urquelle” character was created, and Laura found herself drawn to him despite the fact that he was simply Steve minus the nerdy disguise.

Family Matters was part of ABC’s famous TGIF Friday lineup that kids stayed up for on a weekly basis, fueled by pizza and soda. The show existed in the same fictional universe as other TGIF shows, crossing over with the likes of Perfect Strangers, Step by Step, Full House, and Boy Meets World.

10. The Wayans Bros. (1995-1999)  4 years

Network: The WB

Show Setting – New York, New York

Doing it on your own terms is a Wayans family trait, so from the moment Shawn and Marlon ditched the average sitcom setting and Tribe’s “Electric Relaxation” kicked off the shows’ opening sequence, it’s clear what The Wayans Bros. was about.

Viewers tuned in week after week to watch the two youngest brothers wade through life’s bullshit while living in Harlem. Shawn, the elder sibling, owned a newsstand in Manhattan’s Neidermeyer Building, where Marlon also worked. Just a few feet away, their father had a diner called Pops’ Diner. Over the course of the series, Dee, a security guard who worked in the building, acted as an older sister to the pair. In between, they were occasionally annoyed by White Mike (R.I.P Mitch Mullany), and hung out with T.C. and Dupree.

The show was criticized for alleged “buffoonery,” but that’s far from accurate. A significant part of the show’s early comedy came from Marlon, but he demonstrated his serious acting chops, by surprise, leaving the newsstand to chase his dream of being an actor. As for Shawn, he was the entrepreneur, taking after his father.

The Wayans Bros. enjoyed a five season run on The WB before being unceremoniously cancelled in 1999. As mentioned in Scary Movie, it didn’t even get the respect of a proper final episode. Still, it’s remained popular over a decade after its cancellation, and fans will stop whatever they’re doing when the show comes on television, hoping to catch the episode where Pops and his old singing group, The Temptones, get back together.
11. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972-1985) 13 years

Network: CBS

Show Setting – Phildelphia

Long before he was known as Cliff Huxtable, Bill Cosby was the creative genius behind the legendary animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Loosely based on Cosby’s experiences growing up in North Philadelphia, the Fat Albert character originated during a Cosby stand-up routine. After a primetime special entitled Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert aired on NBC, the network wanted to build a series around the character, but was hesitant to bring it to Saturday mornings fearing it would be to education-heavy. Apparently, nothing’s worse for children than learning. Eventually, Cosby took the series to CBS, where it reigned supreme on Saturday mornings beginning in 1972.

When no one else would, Fat Albert dealt with issues facing children in urban environments. Each of the characters—Fat Albert, Dumb Dumb Donald, Weird Harold, Russell, and Rudy—learned a lesson that was expressed through song every week. This, and Cosby’s celebrity, helped the show last until 1985, making it one of the longest running Saturday morning cartoons ever. Aside from being one of the best animated shows ever, Fat Albert is one of the most iconic cartoon characters ever created.
13. Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1985) 7 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – New York, New York

The show that made Gary Coleman a household name, Diff’rent Strokes told the story of two brothers from Harlem who were adopted by the wealthy businessman that their mother worked for after she passed away. Thank the show for any popular culture and hip-hop references to “Phil Drummond” as a symbol of wealth.

Still, the show’s most well-known characters were Coleman’s Arnold and his older brother Willis, played by Todd Bridges. In fact, Willis might be the show’s most recognized character, thanks to Arnold’s catch-phrase “Whatchu talin’ bout, Willis?” Biggie might’ve called it “played out” on “The What,” but it was the show’s trademark.

Aside from Arnold’s famous question, Diff’rent Strokes was recognized for episodes that focused on serious issues like drugs, molestation, race, violence, and eating disorders. Unfortunately, each of the show’s three child stars (Coleman, Bridges, and Dana Plato) struggled with drug addiction and legal troubles after the show ended. Plato died of a drug overdose in 1999, and Coleman died at 42 after falling and hitting his head in 2010. Only Bridges survived his struggles. Despite the sad ending for the show’s young stars, Diff’rent Strokes will live on as one of the 20th century’s most important programs.
14. Good Times (1974-1979) 5 years

Network: CBS

Show Setting – Chicago, Illinois

A spinoff of Maude, Good Times remains one of the most essential and controversial black television shows ever produced. Created by Cooley High writer Eric Monte, the show focused on the struggles of the Evans family, who lived in a Chicago housing project. Though no one ever came out and said it, the housing project was the notorious Cabrini-Green projects, where Monte grew up.

The main characters included working class parents James and Florida, and their three children. James Jr., or “J.J.” was an animated toothpick; Thelma was the middle sibling; and socially conscious Michael was the youngest. The family was frequently visited by their neighbor Willona, who would later adopt abuse victim Penny (played by a very young Janet Jackson). Every now and then, superintendent Bookman would appear with his tool belt.

Good Times depicted a close-knit family that remained positive despite their difficult living conditions. The show was revered for its depiction of urban life, yet declined to portray African-Americans in a negative light—until J.J. turned into a caricature.

After his “Dy-no-mite!” catchphrase became a national fixation, the producers changed the show’s direction to focus more on his moronic behavior than the Evans family itself. This did not sit well with leads John Amos and Esther Rolle. Disagreements about the show’s direction and a contract dispute led to Amos’ James Sr. character being written off of the show. In arguably (and unfortunately) the show’s most famous moment, Florida yells, “Damn, damn, DAMN!” after learning that James has been killed in a car accident. Shortly after, Rolle left the show, leaving Willona to occasionally check on the children.

Rolle returned for the show’s final season after bargaining with the showrunners, but by then the show’s popularity had faded. Good Times lives on through hip-hop references and syndication. Its theme song was immortalized by Chappelle’s Show’s “I Know Black People” skit. Everybody wondered what the exact lyrics were, but nobody had ever come out and asked. But Dave did. Just another example of Chappelle’s Show brilliance.

15. The Jamie Foxx Show (1996-2001) 5 years

Network: The WB

Show Setting- Los Angeles

In the mid-’90s, quality black television experienced a significant boom, and some could even be found on The WB (remember that?). One such program was The Jaime Foxx Show, based on Foxx’s own experience making it in the entertainment industry.

After moving to L.A. to pursue a career in music, Jamie King works at his aunt and uncle’s hotel to support himself during his quest for success. Featuring a theme song sung by Foxx himself, the show followed his trials and tribulations working at King’s Tower, chasing after Francesca “Fancy” Monroe and consistently playing the shit out of one of the OG cornball brothers, Braxton P. Hartnabrig.

Over a decade after the show went off the air, the NAACP Image Award-winning program is remembered for demonstrating Foxx’s comic timing and singing chops, the word Motherfloodpucker, and abusing “brougham.” It also got plenty of elementary school children in trouble for shoving their hands in the faces of classmates.

One question, though—what happened to Dennis?
16. Girlfriends (2000-2008) 8 years

Network: UPN/The CW

Show Setting – Los Angeles

After the cancellation of Living Single, black women were left without a go-to show. In 2000, the answer arrived: Girlfriends. Set in Cali, the show chronicled the lives of Traci Ellis-Ross’s Joan and her circle of friends, which included the sassy Maya, the carefree Lynn, and Joan’s best friend, the diva that was Toni. The perfectly square Williams, a co-worker of Joan’s, fulfilled the role of requisite guy friend.

Girlfriends dealt with topics like dating, sexuality, parenthood, interracial relationships, and the particular struggles of being black in the 21st century. The show’s writers stayed mindful of current events, working Hurricane Katrina into the plot.

In 2006, The Game premiered, a spinoff of Girlfriends that followed Melanie Barnett. It’s still producing new episodes.

17. Blackish

Network ABC

Show Setting – Los Angeles
18. Sister, Sister (1994-1999) 6 years

Network: ABC/The WB

Show Setting – Detroit, Michigan

What are the odds that twin sisters who were separated at birth would wind up meeting 14 years later? That was the premise for Sister, Sister, which starred Tia and Tamera Mowry as Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell. The two couldn’t have been more different, but blood is thicker than water. In addition to being polar opposites, the twins were nothing like their adoptive parents, Ray and Lisa. Though at times it seems like the wrong twin ended up with the wrong parent, they eventually became one big family in Ray’s suburban Detroit home. It’s there that Tia and Tamera were constantly bothered by Roger, who’s what Steve Urkel would’ve been if Steve Urkel looked like Batman from Immature.

After two seasons on ABC, Sister, Sister was cancelled, but The WB scooped it up for the third season. Keeping it in the family, the Mowry twins’ little brother Tahj appeared in one episode as T.J. Henderson, the genius from his own sitcom Smart Guy. Sherman Hemsley, of The Jeffersons, played Ray’s father and Kid of Kid ‘n Play even had a walk-on as one of Tia’s bosses. The history of black TV has been well documented by black TV.

19. Everybody Hates Chris (2005-2009) 4 years

Network: The CW

Show Setting – Brooklyn, New York

Chris Rock’s always been candid about his upbringing in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, often explaining that the hardships of his childhood fueled his career. Not only did they push him to rise above his situation, they provided fodder for his comedy routine. Bring the Pain, one of Rock’s finest stand-up performances, draws heavily on his childhood, and in the fall of 2005, he brought those memories to TV with Everybody Hates Chris.

Set during the 1980s, Everybody Hates Chris chronicled Rock’s painful fight for respect, a battle that started in his own home. On the show, his parents constantly harass him; he lives in the shadow of his younger brother; even his little sister gets the best of him. He’s bullied in his neighborhood and at school, and everything that he wants always seems out of reach.

Everybody Hates Chris was praised for using humor to interrogate race and class problems in America. It garnered several Golden Globe and Emmy nominations, in addition to claiming several NAACP Image Awards. In 2007, Tyler James Williams (who played the lead), became the youngest person to win an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. He was just 14.

20. Moesha (1996-2001) 5 years

Network: UPN

Show Setting – Los Angeles, California

Ice Cube is the original “Leimert Park Legend,” and currently the title is held by Dom Kennedy, but from the mid-’90s until the early aughts, it belonged to Moesha Mitchell. Brandy starred as the show’s title character, a teen living with her middle-class African-American family in South Central.

Moesha and her younger brother, Myles, lived with their father Frank and his new wife, Dee. Moesha’s circle of friends included the loud Kim, the talkative Niecy, and the ever-present Hakeem. The teens frequented The Den, managed by Andell, one of Moesha’s older friends and role models. In a “wait a minute” moment, Brandy’s real-life brother Ray J joined the series for the final two seasons as Frank’s nephew, Dorian.

The show, one of UPN’s biggest hits, bravely dealt with issues like drugs, race, premarital sex, and infidelity. Similar to many great black sitcoms, Moesha had plenty of guest appearances, including Onyx’s Fredro Starr as Moesha’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Q. Bernie Mac had a recurring role as Frank’s brother, Bernie, and athletes such as Kobe Bryant (who took Brandy to his Senior Prom), Vince Carter, and Bo Jackson all had walk-ons.

One imagines that Brandy’s status in the music world can be credited with the cameos from Master P, DMX, LeAnn Rimes, Russell Simmons, and Big Pun, among others.

After Countess Vaughn left the show after the fourth season, a spinoff called The Parkers was created, based around Kim and her mother, Nikki, played by comedian Mo’Nique. Andell went on to appear on The Parkers as a friend of Nikki’s.

 

21. The Steve Harvey Show (1996-2002)  6 years

Network: The WB

Show Setting – Chicago, Illinois

The only person who gets a pass for wearing Choppa Suits in 2013? Steve Harvey. Before he wrote Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and opted for a more aerodynamic hairstyle, he played Chicago native Steve Hightower on The WB’s Steve Harvey Show.

In the show, the former funk legend and member of Steve Hightower and the High Tops was forced to take a job as a music teacher at Chicago’s Booker T. Washington High School. Because of budget cuts, he found himself forced to teach drama and art as well. His longtime friend Cedric, love interest Lovita, and former classmate Regina “Piggy” Lane, joined him at Booker T.

The students were just as important, and none got more airtime than Bullethead and Romeo. Lady of Rage (yes, “Afro Puffs” Lady of Rage) frequently showed up as the hulking Coretta Cox, and Keenan and Kel (Keenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell) also found time for guest appearances. Fellow All That alum Lori Beth Denberg was a mainstay as Lydia Gutman.

Like other black sitcoms, The Steve Harvey Show featured notable guest stars from the music world, including Teena Marie, who jokingly mistook Hightower for Lionel Richie in one episode. Irregular reunions of Steve Hightower and the High Tops always made for great episodes, as they brought back comedian Don “D.C.” Curry and Mr. Big himself, Ronald Isley. “When the Funk Hits the Fan” never gets old.

22. What’s Happening!! (1976-1979) 3 years

Network: ABC

Show Setting – Los Angeles

After debuting as a summer program in 1976, What’s Happening!! cashed in on solid ratings and the failure of other shows to become regular weekly programming on ABC that fall. The sitcom hooked audiences with the three beloved teens living in Watts—the bespectacled Raj, the forever-smiling Dwayne, and the man with the famous dance, Rerun.

Raj was an outstanding student with dreams of one day being a writer. Rerun struggled academically, but was an amazing dancer. Dwayne always brought positive energy, frequently making his presence known by exclaiming “Hey, hey, hey!” when entering a room. Occasionally meddling in their lives and pulling zero punches was Raj’s younger sister, Dee. The guys usually hung out at Rob’s Place, where they always ran into Shirley, a boisterous waitress who was just as eager to rib the gang as Dee was.

Known for its recognizable theme song, What’s Happening!! was popular enough to draw guests like the Doobie Brothers. It yielded a spinoff entitled What’s Happening Now!! that aired from 1985 to 1988; the old cast returned to give the world an early look at a young Martin Lawrence, who worked as a busboy at Rob’s.

23. Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper (1992-1997) 5 years

Network: ABC

Show Setting – Oakland, California

Comedian Mark Curry landed his first major role as Mark Cooper, a former Golden State Warrior who winds up teaching and coaching basketball at Oakbridge High School, in Oakland. Cooper moves in with longtime friend Robin and her friend Vanessa (played by Holly Robinson, truly the bee’s knees in the ’90s).

As no ’90s sitcom was complete without an annoying neighbor, Coop struggled with Tyler, in addition the stress of living with the two women. When Dawnn Lewis left the show, Robin was replaced by Mark’s cousin Geneva, who brought her young daughter Nicole (Raven-Symoné, prior to coming into her own as a bankable star) along.

As the show progressed, Tyler and Nicole became best friends and Coop began to view both Tyler and Earvin Rodman (a young Omar Gooding) as younger brothers. His crush on Vanessa evolved into romance, and the two were a couple by the end of the series.

Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper was at its best once added to ABC’s brilliant TGIF lineup. Though Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper enjoyed several theme songs, none was better than the original, where stars Lewis and Robinson collaborated with En Vogue to sing Cooper’s praises.
24. Roc (1991-1994)  3 years

Network: Fox

Show Setting – Baltimore, Maryland

During the ’90s, Fox ran black television, and one of the network’s lesser-known gems was Roc. Set in Baltimore, the show followed the lives of the title character (played by Charles S. Dutton) and his wife, Eleanor. Roc’s younger brother Joey provided occasional humor and drama.

After beginning life as a sitcom, Roc made the bold move to air each episode from the second season as a live performance. Not only did this play to the strengths of the four main cast members—each of whom were trained stage actors—it made Roc the first scripted American television show since the ’50s to broadcast an entire season live.

Roc’s narratives offered hard looks at drugs and violence in urban communities, but without losing sight of the mission: offering a positive look at African-Americans doing their best to make an honest living. Unfortunately, the show’s positive imagery couldn’t save it from low ratings.

.
25. 227 (1985-1990) 5 years

Network: NBC

Show Setting – Washington,D.C

When thinking of D.C. in the ’80s, you’re instantly reminded of the Redskins’ Doug Williams becoming the first black quarterback to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory, John Thompson’s Georgetown Hoyas becoming black America’s unofficial basketball team, and the notorious Rayful Edmond flooding the streets with crack.

Add 227 to that list, too, if it hasn’t already flashed in your brain. Anchored by the dwellers of a middle-class apartment building, the show primarily focused on the lives of Lester and Mary Jenkins, and their teenage daughter Brenda. Joining them were the unfiltered Pearl and her grandson Calvin, who would later become Brenda’s boyfriend. 227 became a showcase for the over-the-top personality of Sandra (played by the perfectly over-the-top Jackée Harry) and a young Countess Vaughn, who earned a recurring role after her appearance on Star Search.

During its peak, 227 experienced better ratings than every program with a largely African-American cast (with the obvious exception of The Cosby Show). These days, it lives on in syndication and an extremely random appearance in Pineapple Express. It’s more than your grandmom’s favorite show—it’s your friendly neighborhood weed dealer’s favorite, too.
26. The Bernie Mac Show (2001-2006) 5 years

Network: Fox

Show Setting – Los Angeles

It all began with a segment from The Original Kings of Comedy, where Bernie Mac took in his sister’s children after she entered rehab. Fox turned the situation into a weekly sitcom that was much different from what fans of Mac were used to, specifically his loud, animated tirades. Mac stayed true to his signature humor as much as the constraints of broadcast television permitted, but just like in real life, his love for his family was more than apparent.

The show was also famous for Mac’s frequent breaking of the fourth wall, which he did to relay the importance or absurdity of a given moment to the audience. The Bernie Mac Show went strong on Fox for five seasons, seeing a 100th episode before the series ended.

Because Mac played himself, there were plenty of celebrity cameos a la Curb Your Enthusiasm, ranging from Hugh Hefner to Shaquille O’Neal. Bernie Mac passed away in August 2008, but his stand-up, numerous film roles, and all form integral parts of his untouchable legacy.

27. In the House


28. Julia (1968-1971)

Network: NBC

Show Setting – New York

This pioneering show starred Diahann Carroll as Julia Baker, a widowed single mother working as a nurse. After her husband was killed fighting in Vietnam, Baker was left to raise her young son, Corey, on her own. Well-known black actors Paul Winfield and Fred Williamson appeared as potential suitors for Carroll’s character. The show ran for three seasons on NBC before it was cancelled in 1971 after Carroll and creator Hal Kanter decided that they wanted to explore other projects.

Critics attacked the show for the lack of a male role model, and because of bold decisions like that, Julia will always be remembered as a trailblazer, and something almost every media student at a historically black college or university has pressed into their memory forever.

 

 

29.My Wife and Kids

Show Setting – Connecticut

30. Smart Guy

Network – UPN

Show Setting – Washington,D.C

 

Dramas and TV Shows

  1. Empire

 

Network: Fox

Show Setting – New York City

Is an American musical drama television series created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong. Although filmed inChicago,[2][3] the show is based in New York and it centers on a hip hop music and entertainment company, Empire Entertainment, and the drama among the members of the founders’ family as they fight for control of the company.

Empire debuted on Fox on January 7, 2015. On January 17, 2015, the series was renewed for an 18-episode second season,[4] which premiered on September 23, 2015.[5][6] On January 15, 2016, the series was renewed for a third season, which is set to premiere on September 21, 2016.[7]

The show’s premiere ranked as Fox’s highest-rated debut in three years. Viewership has increased continuously; Empire is the first primetime broadcast series in at least 23 years to have its viewership increase week to week for its first five episodes.[78] The show continues to increase its viewership with further episodes.[79]Episodes of the show have also been heavily watched on Video on Demand and other streaming services.[80] As of its first season finale, Empire has now surpassedThe Big Bang Theory as the highest rated scripted program in the 2014-2015 television season. The first season finale is also the highest rated debut season finale since May 2005, when Grey’s Anatomy ended its first season. Empire’s season one finale grew 82 percent from its series premiere, making it the show that has grown the most over the course of its first season since Men in Trees during the 2006-2007 season

2. Real Housewives of Atlanta

Network: Bravo

Show Setting – Atlanta, Georgia

Is an American reality television series that premiered on October 7, 2008, on Bravo. Developed as the third installment of The Real Housewives franchise, following The Real Housewives of Orange County and New York City, it has aired eight seasons and focuses on the personal and professional lives of several women residing in Atlanta, Georgia.

As of February 2014, it was the highest-rated installment of The Real Housewives franchise and the most-watched series airing on Bravo.

3. Luke Cage

Network NBC

Show Setting – New York City

mv5bmtcymzc1mji5mf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmze4ody2ote-_v1_uy1200_cr10706301200_al_

4. Love and Hip Hop New York

Network: VH1

Show Setting – New York City

5. Love and Hip Hop Atlanta

Network : VH1

Show Setting Atlanta

6. Love and Hip Hop Hollwyood

Network : VH1

Show Setting- Los Angeles

7. Power

Network Start

Show Setting- New York

 

Network : Starz

Show Setting : New York City

8. Single Ladies

Network: BET

Show Setting- Atlanta, Georgia

9. Atlanta (TV Show)

Network: Fox

Show Setting- Atlanta, Georgia

 

Advertisements

What is it Like to Teach Black Inner City Students, according to a White Teacher

by Christopher Jackson

Until recently I taught at a predominantly black high school in a southeastern state. The mainstream press gives a hint of what conditions are like in black schools, but only a hint. Expressions journalists use like “chaotic” or “poor learning environment” or “lack of discipline” do not capture what really happens. There is nothing like the day-to-day experience of teaching black children and that is what I will try to convey.

One of the most immediately striking things about my students was that they were loud. They had little conception of ordinary decorum. It was not unusual for five students to be screaming at me at once. It did no good to try to quiet them and white women were particularly inept at trying. I sat in on one woman’s class as she begged the children to pipe down. They just yelled louder so their voices would carry over hers. They seemed to have no conception of waiting for an appropriate time to say something. They would get ideas in their heads and simply had to shout them out. I might be leading a discussion on government and suddenly be interrupted: “We gotta get more Democrats! Clinton, she good!” The student may seem content with that outburst but two minutes later, he would suddenly start yelling again: “Clinton good!”

Anyone who is around young blacks will probably get a constant diet of rap music. Blacks often make up their own jingles, and it was not uncommon for 15 boys to swagger into a classroom, bouncing their shoulders and jiving back. They were yelling back and forth, rapping 15 different sets of words in the same harsh, rasping dialect. The words were almost invariably a childish form of boasting: “Who got dem shine rim, who got dem shine shoe, who got dem shine grill (gold and silver dental caps)?” The amateur rapper usually ends with a claim—in the crudest terms imaginable—that all woman-kind is sexually devoted to him. For whatever reason, my students would often groan instead of saying a particular word, as in, “She suck dat aaahhhh (think of a long grinding groan), she f* dat aaaahhhh, she lick dat aaaahhh.” So many black girls dance in the hall, in the classroom, on the chairs, next to the chairs, under the chairs, everywhere. Once I took a call on my cell phone and had to step outside of class. I was away about two minutes but when I got back, the girls had lined up at the front of the classroom and were convulsing to the delight of the boys.

Many black people, especially women, are enormously fat. Some are so fat I had to arrange special seating to accommodate their bulk. I am not saying there are no fat white students—there are—but it is a matter of numbers and attitudes. Many black girls simply do not care that they are fat. There are plenty of white anorexics, but I have never met or heard of a black anorexic. “Black women be big Mr. Jackson,” my students would explain. “Is it okay in the black community to be a little overweight?” I ask. Two obese girls in front of my desk begin to dance, “You know dem boys lak juicy fruit, Mr. Jackson.” “Juicy” is a colorful black expression for the buttocks.

Blacks, on average, are the most directly critical people I have ever met: “Dat shirt stupid. Yo’ kid a bastid. Yo’ lips big.” Unlike whites, who tread gingerly around the subject of race, they can be brutally to the point. Once I needed to send a student to the office to deliver a message. I asked for volunteers, and suddenly you would think my classroom was a bastion of civic engagement. Thirty dark hands shot into the air. My students loved to leave the classroom and slack off, even if just for a few minutes, away from the eye of white authority. I picked a light-skinned boy to deliver the message. One very black student was indignant: “You pick da half-breed.” And immediately other blacks take up the cry, and half a dozen mouths are screaming, “He half-breed.”

For decades, the country has been lamenting the poor academic performance of bIacks and there is much to lament. There is no question, however, that many bIacks come to school with a serious handicap that is not their fault. At home they have learned a dialect that is almost a different language. Blacks not only mispronounce words; their grammar is often wrong. When a black wants to ask, “Where is the bathroom?” he may actually say “Whar da badroom be?” Grammatically, this is the equivalent of “Where the bathroom is?” And this is the way they speak in high school. Students write the way they speak, so this is the language that shows up in written assignments.

It is true that some whites face a similar handicap. They speak with what I would call a “country” accent that is hard to reproduce but results in sentences such as “I’m gonna gemme a Coke.” Some of these country whites had to learn correct pronunciation and usage. The difference is that most whites overcome this handicap and learn to speak correctly; many blacks do not.

Most of the bIacks I taught simply had no interest in academic subjects. I taught history, and students would often say they didn’t want to do an assignment or they didn’t like history because it was all about white people. Of course, this was “diversity” history, in which every cowboy’s black cook got a special page on how he contributed to winning the West, but black children still found it inadequate. So I would throw up my hands and assign them a project on a real, historical black person. My favorite was Marcus Garvey. They had never heard of him, and I would tell them to research him, but they never did. They didn’t care and they didn’t want to do any work.

Anyone who teaches bIacks soon learns that they have a completely different view of government from whites. Once I decided to fill 25 minutes by having students write about one thing the government should do to improve America. I gave this question to three classes totaling about 100 students, approximately 80 of whom were black. My white students came back with generally “conservative” ideas. “We need to cut off people who don’t work,” was the most common suggestion. Nearly every black gave a variation on the theme of “We need more government services.”

My black students had only the vaguest notion of who pays for government services. For them, it was like a magical piggy bank that never goes empty. One black girl was exhorting the class on the need for more social services and I kept trying to explain that people, real live people, are taxed for the money to pay for those services. “Yeah, it come from whites,” she finally said. “They stingy anyway.” “Many black people make over $50,000 dollars a year and you would also be taking away from your own people,” I said. She had an answer to that: “Dey half breed.” The class agreed. I let the subject drop.

Many black girls are perfectly happy to be welfare queens. On career day, one girl explained to the class that she was going to have lots of children and get fat checks from the government. No one in the class seemed to have any objection to this career choice.

Surprising attitudes can come out in class discussion. We were talking about the crimes committed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and I brought up the rape of a young girl in the bathroom of the Superdome. A majority of my students believed this was a horrible crime but a few took it lightly. One black boy spoke up without raising his hand: “Dat no big deal. They thought they is gonna die so they figured they have some fun. Dey jus’ wanna have a fun time; you know what I’m sayin’?” A few black heads nodded in agreement.

My department head once asked all the teachers to get a response from all students to the following question: “Do you think it is okay to break the law if it will benefit you greatly?” By then, I had been teaching for a while and was not surprised by answers that left a young, liberal, white woman colleague aghast. “Yeah” was the favorite answer. As one student explained, “Get dat green.” There is a level of conformity among blacks that whites would find hard to believe. They like one kind of music: rap. They will vote for one political party: Democrat. They dance one way, speak one way, are loud the same way, and fail their exams in the same way. Of course, there are exceptions but they are rare. Whites are different. Some like country music, others heavy metal, some prefer pop, and still others, God forbid, enjoy rap music. They have different associations, groups, almost ideologies. There are jocks, nerds, preppies, and hunters. Blacks are all—well—black, and they are quick to let other blacks know when they deviate from the norm.

One might object that there are important group differences among blacks that a white man simply cannot detect. I have done my best to find them, but so far as I can tell, they dress the same, talk the same, think the same. Certainly, they form rival groups, but the groups are not different in any discernible way. There simply are no groups of blacks that are as distinctly different from each other as white “nerds,” “hunters,” or “Goths,” for example.

How the World looks to Blacks

One point on which all bIacks agree is that everything is “racis’.” This is one message of liberalism they have absorbed completely. Did you do your homework? “Na, homework racis’.” Why did you get an “F” on the test? “Test racis’.” I was trying to teach a unit on British philosophers and the first thing the students noticed about Bentham, Hobbes, and Locke was “Dey all white! Where da black philosophers’?” I tried to explain there were no blacks in eighteenth century Britain. You can probably guess what they said to that: “Dat racis’!” One student accused me of deliberately failing him on a test because I didn’t like black people. “Do you think I really hate black people?” “Yeah.” “Have I done anything to make you feel this way? How do you know?” “You just do.” “Why do you say that?” He just smirked, looked out the window, and sucked air through his teeth. Perhaps this was a regional thing, but the bIacks often sucked air through their teeth as a wordless expression of disdain or hostility.

My students were sometimes unable to see the world except through the lens of their own blackness. I had a class that was host to a German exchange student. One day he put on a Power Point presentation with famous German landmarks as well as his school and family. From time to time during the presentation, bIacks would scream, “Where da black folk?!” The exasperated German tried several times to explain that there were no black people where he lived in Germany. The students did not believe him. I told them Germany is in Europe, where white people are from, and Africa is where black people are from. They insisted that the German student was racist and deliberately refused to associate with blacks.

BIacks are keenly interested in their own racial characteristics. I have learned, for example, that some bIacks have “good hair.” Good hair is black parlance for black-white hybrid hair. Apparently, it is less kinky, easier to style, and considered more attractive. BIacks are also proud of light skin. Imagine two black students shouting insults across the room. One is dark but slim; the other light and obese. The dark one begins the exchange: “You fat, Ridario!” Ridario smiles, doesn’t deign to look at his detractor, shakes his head like a wobbling top, and says, “You wish you light skinned.” They could go on like this, repeating the same insults over and over.

My black students had nothing but contempt for Hispanic immigrants. They would vent their feelings so crudely that our department strongly advised us never to talk about immigration in class in case the principal or some outsider might overhear. Whites were “racis’,” of course, but they thought of us at least as Americans. Not the Mexicans. BIacks have a certain, not necessarily hostile understanding of white people. They know how whites act, and it is clear they believe whites are smart and are good at organizing things. At the same time, they probably suspect whites are just putting on an act when they talk about equality, as if it is all a sham that makes it easier for whites to control blacks. BIacks want a bigger piece of the American pie. I’m convinced that if it were up to them they would give whites a considerably smaller piece than whites get now, but they would give us something. They wouldn’t give Mexicans anything.

What about black boys and white girls? No one is supposed to notice this or talk about it but it is glaringly obvious: Black boys are obsessed with white girls. I’ve witnessed the following drama countless times. A black boy saunters up to a white girl. The cocky black dances around her, not really in a menacing way. It’s more a shuffle than a threat. As he bobs and shuffles he asks, “When you gonna go wit’ me?” There are two kinds of reply. The more confident white girl gets annoyed, looks away from the black and shouts, “I don’t wanna go out with you!” The more demure girl will look at her feet and mumble a polite excuse but ultimately say no. There is only one response from the black boy: “You racis’.” Many girls—all too many—actually feel guilty because they do not want to date bIacks. Most white girls at my school stayed away from blacks, but a few, particularly the ones who were addicted to drugs, fell in with them.

There is something else that is striking about blacks. They seem to have no sense of romance, of falling in love. What brings men and women together is sex, pure and simple, and there is a crude openness about this. There are many degenerate whites, of course, but some of my white students were capable of real devotion and tenderness, emotions that seemed absent from blacks—especially the boys.

Black schools are violent and the few whites who are too poor to escape are caught in the storm. The violence is astonishing, not so much that it happens, but the atmosphere in which it happens. BIacks can be smiling, seemingly perfectly content with what they are doing, having a good time, and then, suddenly start fighting. It’s uncanny. Not long ago, I was walking through the halls and a group of black boys were walking in front of me. All of a sudden they started fighting with another group in the hallway.

BIacks are extraordinarily quick to take offense. Once I accidentally scuffed a black boy’s white sneaker with my shoe. He immediately rubbed his body up against mine and threatened to attack me. I stepped outside the class and had a security guard escort the student to the office. It was unusual for students to threaten teachers physically this way, but among themselves, they were quick to fight for similar reasons.

The real victims are the unfortunate whites caught in this. They are always in danger and their educations suffer. White weaklings are particularly susceptible, but mostly to petty violence. They may be slapped or get a couple of kicks when they are trying to open a bottom locker. Typically, bIacks save the hard, serious violence for each other.

There was a lot of promiscuous sex among my students and this led to violence. Black girls were constantly fighting over black boys. It was not uncommon to see two girls literally ripping each other’s hair out with a police officer in the middle trying to break up the fight. The black boy they were fighting over would be standing by with a smile, enjoying the show he had created. For reasons I cannot explain, boys seldom fought over girls.

Pregnancy was common among the bIacks, though many black girls were so fat I could not tell the difference. I don’t know how many girls got abortions, but when they had the baby they usually stayed in school and had their own parents look after the child. The school did not offer daycare.

Aside from the police officers constantly on campus – security guards are everywhere in black schools — we had one on every hall. They also sat in on unruly classes and escorted students to the office. They were unarmed but worked closely with the three city police officers who were constantly on duty.

There was a lot of drug-dealing at my school. This was a way to make a fair amount of money but it also gave boys power over girls who wanted drugs. An addicted girl—black or white—became the plaything of anyone who could get her drugs. One of my students was a notorious drug dealer. Everyone knew it. He was 19 years old and in eleventh grade. Once he got a score of three out of 100 on a test. He had been locked up four times since he was 13. One day, I asked him, “Why do you come to school?” He wouldn’t answer. He just looked out the window, smiled, and sucked air through his teeth. His friend Yidarius ventured an explanation: “He get dat green and get dem females.” “What is the green?” I asked. “Money or dope?” “Both,” said Yidarius with a smile. A very fat student interrupted from across the room: “We get dat lunch,” Mr. Jackson. “We gotta get dat lunch and brickfuss.” He means the free breakfast and lunch poor students get every day. “Nlqqa, we know’d you be lovin’ brickfuss!” shouts another student. Some readers may believe that I have drawn a cruel caricature of black students. After all, according to official figures some 85 percent of them graduate. It would be instructive to know how many of those scraped by with barely a C- record. They go from grade to grade and they finally get their diplomas because there is so much pressure on teachers to push them through. It saves money to move them along, the school looks good and the teachers look good. Many of these children should have been failed but the system would crack under their weight if they were all held back.

How did my experiences make me feel about bIacks? Ultimately, I lost sympathy for them. In so many ways they seem to make their own beds. There they were in an integrationist’s fantasy—in the same classroom with white students, eating the same lunch, using the same bathrooms, listening to the same teachers—and yet the blacks fail while the whites pass.

One tragic outcome among whites who have been teaching for too long is that it can engender something close to hatred. One teacher I knew gave up fast food—not for health reasons but because where he lived most fast-food workers were black. He had enough of bIacks on the job. This was an extreme example but years of frustration can take their toll. Many of my white colleagues with any experience were well on their way to that state of mind.

There is an unutterable secret among teachers: Almost all realize that bIacks do not respond to traditional white instruction. Does that put the lie to environmentalism? Not at all. It is what brings about endless, pointless innovation that is supposed to bring bIacks up to the white level. The solution is more diversity—or put more generally, the solution is change. Change is an almost holy word in education, and you can fail a million times as long as you keep changing. That is why liberals keep revamping the curriculum and the way it is taught. For example, teachers are told that blacks need hands-on instruction and more group work. Teachers are told that bIacks are more vocal and do not learn through reading and lectures. The implication is that they have certain traits that lend themselves to a different kind of teaching.

Whites have learned a certain way for centuries but it just doesn’t work with bIacks. Of course, this implies racial differences but if pressed, most liberal teachers would say different racial learning styles come from some indefinable cultural characteristic unique to bIacks. Therefore, schools must change, America must change. But into what? How do you turn quantum physics into hands-on instruction or group work? No one knows, but we must keep changing until we find something that works.

Public school has certainly changed since anyone reading this was a student. I have a friend who teaches elementary school and she tells me that every week the students get a new diversity lesson, shipped in fresh from some bureaucrat’s office in Washington or the state capital. She showed me the materials for one week: a large poster, about the size of a forty-two inch flat-screen television. It shows an utterly diverse group—I mean diverse: handicapped, Muslim, Jewish, effeminate, poor, rich, brown, slightly brown, yellow, etc.—sitting at a table, smiling gaily, accomplishing some undefined task. The poster comes with a sheet of questions the teacher is supposed to ask. One might be: “These kids sure look different, but they look happy. Can you tell me which one in the picture is an American?” Some eight-year-old, mired in ignorance, will point to a white child like himself. “That one.” The teacher reads from the answer, conveniently printed along with the question. “No, Billy, all these children are Americans. They are just as American as you.”

This is what happens at predominately white, middle-class, elementary schools everywhere. Elementary school teachers love All of the Colors of the Race, by award-winning children’s poet Arnold Adoff. These are some of the lines they read to the children: “Mama is chocolate … Daddy is vanilla … Me (sic) is better … It is a new color. It is a new flavor. For love. Sometimes blackness seems too black for me, and whiteness is too sickly pale; and I wish every one were golden. Remember: long ago before people moved and migrated, and mixed and matched … there was one people: one color, one race. The colors are flowing from what was before me to what will be after. All the colors.”

Teaching as a career

It may come as a surprise after what I have written, but my experiences have given me a deep appreciation for teaching as a career. It offers a stable, middle-class life but comes with the capacity to make real differences in the lives of children. In our modern, atomized world children often have very little communication with adults—especially, or even, with their parents—so there is potential for a real transaction between pupil and teacher, disciple and master.

A rewarding relationship can grow up between an exceptional, interested student and his teacher. I have stayed in my classroom with a group of students discussing ideas and playing chess until the janitor kicked us out. I was the old gentleman, imparting my history, culture, personal loves and triumphs, defeats and failures to young kinsman. Sometimes I fancied myself Tyrtaeus, the Spartan poet, who counseled the youth to honor and loyalty. I never had this kind intimacy with a black student, and I know of no other white teacher who did. Teaching can be fun. For a certain kind of person it is exhilarating to map out battles on chalkboards, and teach heroism. It is rewarding to challenge liberal prejudices, to leave my mark on these children, but what I aimed for with my white students I could never achieve with the bIacks.

There is a kind of child whose look can melt your heart: some working-class castaway, in and out of foster homes, often abused, who is nevertheless almost an angel. Your heart melts for these children, this refuse of the modern world. Many white students possess a certain innocence; their cheeks still blush. Try as I might, I could not get the blacks to care one bit about Beethoven or Sherman’s march to the sea, or Tyrtaeus, or Oswald Spengler, or even liberals like John Rawls, or their own history. They cared about nothing I tried to teach them. When this goes on year after year it chokes the soul out of a teacher, destroys his pathos, and sends him guiltily searching for The Bell Curve on the Internet. BIacks break down the intimacy that can be achieved in the classroom, and leave you convinced that that intimacy is really a form of kinship. Without intending to, they destroy what is most beautiful—whether it be your belief in human equality, your daughter’s innocence, or even the state of the hallway.

Just last year I read on the bathroom stall the words “F Whitey.” Not two feet away, on the same stall, was a small swastika. The National Council for the Social Studies, the leading authority on social science education in the United States, urges teachers to inculcate such values as equality of opportunity, individual property rights, and a democratic form of government. Even if teachers could inculcate this milquetoast ideology into whites, liberalism is doomed because so many non-whites are not receptive to education of any kind beyond the merest basics.

It is impossible to get them to care about such abstractions as property rights or democratic citizenship. They do not see much further than the fact that you live in a big house and “we in da pro-jek.” Of course, there are a few loutish whites who will never think past their next meal and a few sensitive bIacks for whom anything is possible, but no society takes on the characteristics of its exceptions.

Once I asked my students, “What do you think of the Constitution?” “It white,” one slouching black rang out. The class began to laugh. And I caught myself laughing along with them, laughing while Pompeii’s volcano simmers, while the barbarians swell around the Palatine, while the country I love, and the job I love, and the community I love become dimmer by the day.

I read a book by an expatriate Rhodesian who visited Zimbabwe not too many years ago. Traveling with a companion, she stopped at a store along the highway. A black man materialized next to her car window. “Job, boss, (I) work good, boss,” he pleaded. “You give job.” “What happened to your old job?” the expatriate white asked. The man replied in the straightforward manner of his race: “We drove out the whites. No more jobs. You give job.”

At some level, my students understand the same thing. One day I asked the bored, black faces staring back at me, “What would happen if all the white people in America disappeared tomorrow?” “We screwed,” a young, pitch-black boy screamed back. The rest of the bIacks laughed.

I have had children tell me to my face as they struggled with an assignment. “I cain’t do dis,” Mr. Jackson. “I black.” The point is that human beings are not always rational. It is in the black man’s interest to have whites in Zimbabwe but he drives them out and starves. Most whites do not think black Americans could ever do anything so irrational. They see bIacks on television smiling, fighting evil whites, embodying white values. But the real black is not on television, and you pull your purse closer when you see him, and you lock the car doors when he swaggers by with his pants hanging down almost to his knees.

I have been in parent-teacher conferences that broke my heart: the child pleading with his parents to take him out of school; the parents convinced their child’s fears are groundless. If you love your child, show her you care—not by giving her fancy vacations or a car, but making her innocent years safe and happy. Give her the gift of a not-heavily black school.

Mr. Jackson now teaches at a majority-white school

 

Fastest growing cities for Blacks

  1. Atlanta 473,493 people Blacks (24,000 annually) – Rated as the city where Blacks are doing the best economically. With its well-established religious and educational institutions, notably Spelman and Morehouse, which are ranked first and third, respectively, by US News among the nation’s historically black colleges, the area has arguably the strongest infrastructure for African-American advancement in the country. The superlatives extend well beyond glamour to the basics of everyday life. Some 46.9% the metro area’s black population owned their own homes as of 2013, well above the 38% major metro average for African-Americans. Atlanta’s African-Americans have a median household income of $41,800, also considerably above the major metro average, while their rate of self-employment, 17.1%, is second only to New Orleans.

2.  Dallas, Texas 233,890 growth 33%

Xvisionx_Dallas_Stemmons

3. Houston  21,000 annually (11,000 annually)

houston

 

 

4. Miami area

Broward County attracted more new black residents than any other county in the United States between July 2004 and July 2005, according to Census figures released today.

The continued surge in black residents is being driven by immigrants from the Caribbean, some of whom move to Broward after short stops in Miami-Dade, say demographers. After getting established, they look north for better job prospects and quality of life in Broward.

Broward added 16,522 new black residents in the 12 months ending July 31, 2005. Gwinnett County, Ga., in the Atlanta metro area, came in second with 13,854, according to population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Miami-Dade’s black population increased by just 1,583 people, or less than 1 percent.

Broward also leads the nation in the number of new black residents added between 2000 and 2005. The five-year total is 92,378. Again, Gwinnett comes in second with 62,732. The five-year figure for Miami-Dade is 10,528.

 

Downtown_Miami_Panorama_from_the_Rusty_Pelican_photo_D_Ramey_Logan

5. Washington, D.C area

Washington Pentagon_dc_skyline

30 Richest Black American neighborhoods

  1. Prince George County, Maryland, DC area

Prince George County

2. Atlanta Southern Suburbs

3. Los Ángeles Southwest Suburbs

4. Chicago South Suburbs

5. New York Southeast Queens and inner Nassau County, and Rockland County

6. Houston Southwest Suburbs

7. Dallas Southwest Suburbs – “Best Southwest is a term commonly applied to four Dallas suburbs – Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, and Lancaster – in southwestern Dallas County, Texas (USA). As of the 2010 census, the four suburbs had a combined population of 171,000.[1]

The term “Best Southwest” was first used when the Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, and Lancaster chambers of commerce formed a partnership to improve cooperation between the cities.[2] They formed the Best Southwest Chamber Partnership in 1986, and it was incorporated in 1990.The four municipalities, frequently work together on local events and projects.

8. Miami Broward County Suburbs

9. Detroit Northwest Suburbs

 

 

1. Woodmore, Maryland $161,000  D.C Metro ( Number 30 in America) Average home Price – $600,000

The Woodmore and Mitchellville community is notable as one the most affluent predominantly African-American community in the United States.[3] The population of Woodmore (defined by CDP 86710) was 3,936 at the 2010 census.[4]

The gated community “Woodmore” is centered on a country club; the community is planned to consist of 398 single-family homes on 799 acres (3.2 km2).[5]

 

2. View Park-Windsor Hills, CA- $160,168  Los Angeles Metro

2. Average home price $ 849,000

Neighborhoods in Windsor Hills and View Park are no longer exclusively black neighborhoods and on at least one block where columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson lives, the majority of residents are now white. (Courtesy photo)

3. Baldwin Hills, CA- $157,033  Los Angeles Metro

$407,000

4. South Orange, New Jersey $144,000

Average home price $470,000

5. Ladera Heights, CA- $132,824  Los Angeles Metro

  1. Average home price $1,136,400

Ladera Heights originated in the late 1940s with the development of “Old Ladera”. In the 1960s, custom homes were built in “New Ladera”. Prominent builders included Valentine and Gallant. Robert Earl, who designed many of the Valentine homes, went on to build large multimillion-dollar estates throughout Southern California and in other countries. Neighboring Fox Hills contained a beautiful golf course with rolling hills that backed up to Wooster Avenue. Valentine built Robert Earl designed homes on Wooster overlooking the Fox Hills golf course. Years later, Donald Trump asked Earl to design estate homes with panoramic views of his Palos Verdes golf course.

Baseball player Frank Robinson and other sports players began moving to Ladera Heights in the early 1970s.[3]Many celebrities have lived in Ladera Heights over the years, including Peter Vidmar (Olympic Gold 84), Vanessa Williams (Actress), Chris Darden (Attorney), Chris Strait (Comedian), Lisa Leslie and Olympia Scott (Basketball), Ken Norton (Boxing), Arron Afflalo, Tyler, The Creator (Rapper) and Byron Scott (Basketball)

 

6. Flossmoor, Illinois $122,000 Chicago Metro

Average home price $214,000

7. Mitchellville, MD- $118,022  D.C Metro

 

8. Forest Hills, Washington,D.C $116,000

9. Fort Washington, MD- $114,243  D.C Metro

10. Glenn Dale, D.C Metro $113,000

11. Kettering, MD- $107,008 D.C Metro

12. Lakeview, Long Island, NY- $117,000  New York City Metro

 

13. Palmer Woods, Detroit $109,000

Average home Price – $540,000

14. Birchwood Knolls, Westbury, New York  $107,000

15. Lake Kesslerwood- Charlevoix, Indianapolis

16. Cambria Heights, Queens, New York City  $100,000

1417437857814

Average home cost $468,000

17. Laurelton, Queens, New York City $99,000

304148_10150337835608897_639353896_8214397_122842906_n

18. University District, Detroit  $98,000

19. Wheatley Heights, New York

20. Friendly, Maryland $82,000

21. Riverside Terrace, Houston, Texas $81,000

Average home price $514,000

3418-s-parkwood-01

 

22. Mount Airy, Philadelphia  $80,000

23. Washington Terrace-Kingsbury Place, Saint Louis

24. Hillcrest, New York $76,000

friendly, maryland

25. Uniondale, New York $76,000

 

uniondale, ny

26. Miramar, Florida $75,000  Miami Metro

27. Collier Heights, Atlanta, Georgia

 

28. Cascade, Atlanta, Georgia

29. Stockbridge, Georgia

30. Lake Ridge, Cedar Hill, Texas   $60,000

Average home Price – $420,000

 

Most expensive Black neighborhoods

  1. Ladera Heights, Los Angeles  1.1 million
  2. View Park-Windsor Hills, Los Angeles $849,000
  3. Woodmore, Maryland $600,000

US states with the most Black people

States with the most Black people

1. New York 4.0 million  20%

189

2. Texas 3.9 million  14%

Houston_Cityscape

3. Florida 3.6 million  20%

skyline-at-night-4

4. Georgia 3.3 million  33%

atlanta skyline2

5. California 3.1 million  8%

los-angeles-skyline-and-palm-trees-rene-sheret

6. North Carolina 2,300,000 23%

7. Illinois 2,010,000    16%

8. Maryland 2,000,000  32%

9. Virginia  1,800,000 21%

10. Pennsylvania 1,635,000  13%

States with highest percentages of Black people

  1. Mississippi  38%

 

 

2. Louisiana 34%

3. Georgia 33 %

4. Maryland 32%

5. South Carolina  29%

6. Alabama 27%

7. North Carolina 23%

8. Delaware 22%

9. Virginia 21%

10. New York 20%

Best skylines in America

 

1.New York City, New York 7 and 7 under construction

New York has 4 downtowns. Midtown, Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, Downtown, Queens

Tallest building height 1,792

Average height of 5 tallest buildings – 1392

Total skyscrapers – 242

189
The New Jersey Turnpike is seen in Elizabeth, N.J., with Newark Bay and Manhattan in the background, in this Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 photograph. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Midtown (Downtown) Manhattan

Lower Manhattan

Brooklyn

Queens

Suburban skyline

Newark, New Jersey

Jersey, New Jersey

White Plains, New York

Paterson, New Jersey

Elizabeth, New Jersey

SI Exif

Stamford, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport Connecticut

New York Real Estate Market trend to 2020

Slower-than-average income growth in New York is expected to contribute to sluggish gains in the city’s home prices, according to Moody’s Analytics.

3.9% growth with big dip to 1% in 2017

2. Chicago, Illinois 5

Average height of 5 tallest buildings 1,221

Tallest building height – 1,454

Total skyscrapers-116

Chicago skyline

Downtown

1416926303334

Tallest new Building – Wanda Vista Tower 1,186

Chicago’s population actually declined last year, so housing demand is weaker (and price growth forecasts are softer) than in many other metro areas, notes Sarah Crane, a regional analyst at Moody’s Analytics.

5% with big dip to 1.5% in 2017

Suburban skyline

Des Plaines- Rosemont, Illinois

Oakbrook Terrace

Oakbrook Chicago

Gary, Indiana

 

3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia 1 new Supertall

Average height of 5 tallest builings 936 feet

Tallest building height 1,200 feet

Tallest New building – The Comcast Technology and Innovation Center 1,121 feet 2018

4. Los Angeles, California 2

1 New Supertall

Average height of 5 tallest buildings 894

Tallest building Height 1,100

Los Angeles has 2 downtowns

Number of skyscrapers – 25

Downtown

downtownLosAngelesAtNight2017

Tallest new building – Wilshire Grand Center 1,100

 

Century City

 

Suburban skyline

Long Beach, California

Riverside, California

 

Irvine, California

Glendale, California

Burbank

4.1% Percent Growth

After a construction decline, demand is still outpacing supply in Los Angeles, pushing prices upward for the next few years, Moody’s Analytics finds.

5. Atlanta, Georgia 1

Atlanta has three downtowns and the tallest building outside New York and Chicago

Tallest building is 1,023 feet

Average height of 5 tallest buildings – 841

Number of skyscrapers – 16

atlanta-skyline-city-data

Tallest new skyscraper- 98 14th Street 920 feet

Downtown

Midtown

Buckhead

Cumberland

Suburban skylines – Sandy Springs

 

4.8% Growth dip to 1.4 in 2017

Job growth and the emergence of new households are expected to give Atlanta’s housing market a steady boost over the next few years.

6. Houston, Texas 1

Houston has 3 downtowns and the tallest out of downtown skyscraper

Average  height of 5 tallest buildings – 887 feet

Height of tallest buildings – 1002 feet

Amount of skyscrapers – 34

Downtown

Downtown_Houston_from_UH_Stadium_1

Tallest new building – One Market Square

17097-92531

Uptown

houston-sunrise-web

Galleria

Houston

Texas Medical City

Energy Corridor

Houston Energy-Corridor-District-traffic-highway_104208

Greenspoint

greenspoint_by_alphasunking-d4fdxi3

 

The Woodlands

Sugarland

Galveston

 

0.9% Growth with a strong dip in 2017

Blame plunging oil prices for Houston’s soft 2016 forecast, the weakest among the top 20 cities. The local economy is closely tied to the energy industry, so when crude is weak, so are home values.

 

7. Miami, Florida

Tallest building-

Number of Skyscrapers  -31

Tallest New Building- Panorama Tower 868 (Will be new Tallest building in the City)

Nearby city or suburban skyline

Miami Beach

 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Kendall, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

An overheated market and shrinking buyer pool are projected to push the South Florida housing market into the red in the next few years, Moody’s Analytics says. As Miami’s foreclosed homes finally come back onto the market, they may further soften prices.

Less than .1% Growth in 2017 will only come to 1%

8. Dallas, Texas

Tallest building-

Number of skyscrapers – 21

Xvisionx_Dallas_Stemmons

New Tallest Tower – 2101 North Pearl Tower 400 feet

parkdistrict_(c)trammellcrow

Uptown

Dallas Uptown

 

Suburban skylines

Fort Worth

Irving

Richardson

richardson-texas

Addison

Addison Texas

Arlington, Texas

Dallas Real Estate Market Forecast

Dallas is less reliant on oil prices than other Texas cities, and has been booming recently because of an influx of jobs in financial services and other industries. But urban sprawl will likely keep a lid on home price growth over the next few years, Moody’s Analytics suggests.

Growth of 3.5% to A  dip to 1% in 2017 will come back to 3% in 2020

 

9.San Francisco, California 1 under construction

Number of skyscrapers – 21

san-francisco-738416_1280 Top 11 US Cities With Most Skyscrapers in 2015

New Tallest building – Salesforce Tower 1,070 feet

Oakland, California

The Bay Area’s surging home prices come from a spike in demand from workers in the tech industry, coupled with zoning resitrctions that limit housing supply, Moody’s Analytics finds.

7% to a dip of 3% in 2017

10. Seattle

Number of Skyscrapers-16

Most Racist Cities in America Ranked by Hate Crimes Top 11 US Cities With Most Skyscrapers in 2015

Suburban skylines

Bellevue, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

downtown-tacoma-waterfront

8.3% Growth to 5% Growth in 2017

With home values almost back to pre-crash peaks, expect a continued rebound in 2016 driven by rising incomes, new households, and job growth in a range of industries.

11. Charlotte, North Carolina

800px-Charlotte_Skyline_2011_-_Ricky_W

12. Minneapolis, Minnesota

Other skylines

Saint Paul

13. Cleveland, Ohio

cleveland-skyline-at-night-evening-panorama-jon-holiday

14. Denver, Colorado

Denver

15. Boston, Massachussetts

16. Austin, Texas

New Tallest Tower – The Independant 690 feet

VT-rends-Skyline-v2-1029x394_c

17. Detroit, Michigan

Suburban skyline

Southfield, Michigan

Troy, Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan

18. Saint Louis, Missouri

Suburban skyline

Clayton, Missouri

19. Indianapolis, Indiana

20. Columbus, Ohio

21. Pittsburgh

22. Kansas City, Missouri

Overland Park, Kansas

23. Cincinnati, Ohio

24. Nashville, Tennessee

25. New Orleans

storm-coverage-storm-and-tornado-damage-aerials-2528f2c5f1721627

 

26. Washington, D.C area

Arlington, Virginia

Bethesda, Maryland

Silver Springs, Maryland

Reston, Virginia

Tyson’s Corner

Alexandria

Alexandria,_Virginia_skyline.jpg

26. Phoenix

Tempe, Arizona

Best City for Blacks in America

Criteria

  1. Money or Average income
  2. Education
  3. Political Representation

 

1. Washington,D.C

America’s first Chocolate city, with a Black Mayor (Black Mayor since 1967-First Major US City to do so), Black president, a Black Majority, Prince George County- the richest BMC and one of the richest counties in America, and home to a reputable  Black University, Howard University, a city thats ranking as one of the best paying and millennial friendly cities, D.C. is responsible for more black internships than any other city in the U.S. Plus, Washington D.C. is the place to be if you want to rub elbows with some of America’s most influential people. DC has the highest percentage of Blacks with College Degrees.  The median black household income in the metro area is $64,896, more than $20,000  above that of Atlanta and other top-ranked southern cities. Home ownership rates, at 49.2%, are also the highest in the nation. DC area is a home to Prince George’s County, Maryland, the second largest county in Maryland with 909,000 people, and the 70th most affluent county in the United States by median income for families and the most affluent county in the United States with an African-American majority. Almost 38.8% of all households in Prince George’s County, earned over $100,000 in 2008. Washington’s black community has strong institutions of culture and higher education. The District is home to Howard University, the nation’s second-ranked historically black university. Ranked as best city for Black Entrepreneurs

The top metro area in the U.S. for black households earning $100,000 or more nationwide is now Washington, D.C., at a penetration rate of 7.2 percent,

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria-DC-VA-MD-WV-728x413

2. Atlanta, Georgia

Rated as the city where Blacks are doing the best economically. With its well-established religious and educational institutions, notably Spelman and Morehouse, which are ranked first and third, respectively, by US News among the nation’s historically black colleges, the area has arguably the strongest infrastructure for African-American advancement in the country. Atlanta has also had a Black mayor since 1970. The superlatives extend well beyond glamour to the basics of everyday life. Some 46.9% the metro area’s black population owned their own homes as of 2013, well above the 38% major metro average for African-Americans. Out of America’s 25 largest metros Atlanta is the 4th cheapest. And the cheapest sunbelt city.

Atlanta’s African-Americans have a median household income of $41,800, also considerably above the major metro average, while their rate of self-employment, 17.1%, is second only to New Orleans. Georgia is the State with with the highest number and Percentage Black owned Businesses with 256,848 . Dekalb County is the second richest Black majority county. In Places like Stockbridge  African Americans make an average of $7,000 more than their white neighbors in Stockbridge, while 56 percent own their own homes.

Atlanta has third-highest total of African-American households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more at 3%.  (after New York and Los Angeles) Popularly known as “Black Hollywood”, or “ATLwood” Atlanta is number 3 for filming locations  Atlanta is perfect for aspiring rappers, actors, and entertainers. Atlanta also has the world’s busiest airport with direct locations to 215 cities more than any city in the country.

3. Houston, Texas

It is the fourth largest city in America, Houston boasts a large Black middle class, and a solid economy, it is also one of the most affordable cities in the nation. Phrases like “the new Black Mecca” and “the next Atlanta” have been used as if Houston is currently the best kept secret in Black America. Meanwhile, Houston has Texas Southern in the heart of the Third Ward (still the hub of inner-city African-American culture with things like Emancipation Park, TSU, Riverside, Project Row Houses, S.H.A.P.E, numerous mega-churches and the growing Almeda Rd. corridor) and Prairie View ATM just up the road off of US 290. Houston has been ranked as the best 3rd best city to start a Black Owned Business.Houston had the lowest rate of Black infantdeaths and a relatively low percentage of children living in single-parenthouseholds (typically without fathers).

       In New York, the supplemental poverty rate for blacks is 26 percent. In California, it’s 30 percent. In Washington, D.C., it’s 33 percent.In Texas, it’s just 20 percent.In 2014,Texas had its lowest crime rate since 1968. And the improvements keep coming. Last year, while crime rates rose in other states, we saw them decrease by 5 percent in Houston, 5 percent in San Antonio, 5 percent in Dallas, 8 percent in Fort Worth, and 10 percent in Austin.

   Texas’ high school graduation rate went from 27th in the country in 2003, to 2nd in the country in 2013. Our most recent graduation rate for African-Americans is number one in the nation: 13 points higher than the national average.     Houston currently has a Black mayor and has had two in total. The good thing about this city is when other cities were abandoning affirmative action Houstonians went to the polls and supported it. Millions of dollars have gone to African-American firms here because of
affirmative action.” Houston is also home to CAMAC Energy the Second largest Black Owned Energy Company in America and it is also home the City that does the most trade with the African Continent at $20 billion. Ranked as Second best city for Black Entrepreneurs.

Energy is the primary factor in the Houston economy. Geoscientist and Petroleum Engineers, for example, are highly paid.

1472484464155

4. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Raleigh ranked #2 in cities where African-Americans are doing best economically. Four factors – each weighted equally – were measured in this ranking: home ownership, entrepreneurship, median household income, and growth in African-American population. Raleigh is 30% Black. Raleigh is home to Shaw University, the first historically black university in the American South and site of the foundation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an important civil rights organization of the 1960s.

Durham is 40% Black

In the early 20th Century, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Mechanics & Farmers Bank, and Mutual Savings & Loan were founded in Durham by African-Americans. These prominent companies drew more African-American investment to Durham, to the point that Durham’s Parrish Street neighborhood became known as “Black Wall Street.” NC Mutual Life continues to this day as the oldest and largest African-American-owned life insurance company in the nation and as a visible part of the Durham skyline.

By the start of the 1900s increasing segregation and urbanization encouraged the rise of a black business class. This threatened to reorder the African American status system that had been determined by antebellum forces.[55] Fortunately for Durham, the lack of an entrenched antebellum social order, allowed this social change to come about with little upheaval. Higher ranking blacks like Merrick were considered upper class and “new rich.”[56] It was home to Mechanics and Farmers Bank and North Carolina Mutual.

 

Durham, North Carolina

5. Dallas, Texas

More African-American people than ever are moving to Dallas – but not without apprehension. Many claim Dallas is not as progressive as other popular African American cities, but it is swiftly growing into a professional African American magnet due to massive opportunity and low cost of living. Dallas has a large and growing Black middle-class. This is evident by the number of young Black families now enjoying home ownership in the area. Much of the Black population is educated and highly skilled. Although Dallas is not known for its Black entrepreneurship there are several thousand Black owned business and hundreds of top African American executives.

Technological industries lead in Dallas.

Dallas 1.jpg

 

6. Nashville, Tennessee

Heralded as the “Athens of the South,” Nashville is home to more than two dozen colleges and universities, including the historically black Tennessee State University, Fisk University and Meharry Medical College. Murfreesboro is home to Middle Tennessee State University, which has an African American student population of more than 20 percent. This high concentration of higher education institutions helps increase the educational attainment rates among African Americans.

    African-Americans make up about 20 percent of the population in La Vergne, and 66 percent of them are homeowners. Part of the reason for such a high rate of home ownership is the lower cost of housing. Where the median home price in neighboring Nashville is nearly $200,000, the average cost of a home in La Vergne is less than $150,000. In fact, La Vergne is home to Lake Forest Estates, the largest subdivision in the state of Tennessee. The median income for a family in La Vergne is $55,226, compared to $44,297 statewide, and African Americans make on average $6,000 more than their white neighbors. Another economic advantage for African Americans is that Tennessee does not have a state income tax.

Rutherford County Schools – of which La Vergne is a part – consistently ranks among the best school districts in Tennessee and has outpaced national rankings on a number of measures, and African-American parents can be sure their children receive at least two years of college training, thanks to the Tennessee Promise program, which guarantees free tuition and fees for students entering any of the state’s community colleges. The Tennessee HOPE scholarship, funded by the Tennessee Lottery, awards scholarships to students who graduate with at least a 3.0 GPA and score at least 21 on the ACT.

 

7. Columbus, Ohio

According to a 2015 African-American Consumer Report published by the Nielsen Corporation. The report is titled “Increasingly Affluent, Educated and Diverse — African American Consumers: The Untold Story.” It lists the percentage of black households making $100,000 or more in Columbus at 3 percent. Columbus to the top of the list. Columbus had the lowest rate of AIDS
infection of any of the major cities in the study. But the study says
Columbus needs to do a better job in reducing property crime and lowering
the rate of Black infants who die before their first birthday.

Read more here: http://www.ledger enquirer.com/news/local/article74956467.html#storylink=cpy

8. Indianapolis, Indiana

9. Baltimore, Maryland

Many people would be shocked, but the Baltimore area has many good areas for Blacks

Baltimore has the highest percentage of Black owned businesses, and the second highest percentage of Blacks who make more than 100,000 at 5.1 percent. It is on this list because of the wealthy Blacks that live in its suburbs. which enjoys the third highest black median income and the third highest self-employment rate after Atlanta and New Orleans. As in Washington, much of this prosperity is not in the hardscrabble city core, but in surrounding suburban areas such as Baltimore County, where the black population grew from 20% of the total in 2000 to over 26% in 2010.

10. Charlotte, North Carolina

11. Jacksonville, Florida

 

12. Norfolk 3rd on 10 metro areas for black households earning $100,000 or more nationwide, most integrated city in America, and state with highest  Black/White Interracial Marriages

13. Lansing, Michigan

In an age when racial identity in American is more fluid than it’s ever been, Lansing, MI, could be the poster child for multiracial identity and acceptance. Lansing has the highest percentage of African Americans who identify with more than one race. In fact, four percent of Lansing’s African-American residents identify themselves as being of mixed race. These numbers highlight the fact that interracial dating and marriage is more accepted here than in other parts of the country.

Lansing is also one of the most integrated cities in the country. Researchers at Brown University studied the 2010 Census data to establish a segregation scale for cities, where a score of 100 is complete segregation and zero is complete integration. Lansing scored 28 for black-white segregation; nationally, the score is 59. Lansing’s black population sits at around 24 percent of the total, but as more families become aware of the city’s educational, cultural, governmental, and economic progress, that number is expected to grow.

14. Tallahassee, Florida

When you think of Florida and African-American prosperity, Tallahassee, FL is probably not the first city that comes to mind. But the capital city, which boasts an African-American population of more than 100,000, just might be one of the state’s best kept secrets. Tallahassee is 35% Black.

According to the Department of Labor, African Americans are more likely to be employed in the public sector, and nearly 20 percent of employed African American work for state, local or federal governments. As the capital of Florida, Tallahassee is home to more than 30 state government agencies along with law firms, trade associations and professional organizations, which provide a number of job opportunities for the city’s African Americans. The Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, for example, is headquartered in Tallahassee.

 

Tallahassee is home to Florida State University, one of the country’s top public research universities, and Florida A&M University, one of the nation’s largest historically black universities. With so much brain power, it’s easy to see why Tallahassee and Leon Countyhave the most highly educated population in the state. Half of the city’s residents have a college degree, compared to just 22 percent statewide and 24 percent nationally, and Leon County’s high schools have consistently boasted a drop out rate of less than 3 percent.

The universities also provide both economic and cultural opportunities for African Americans. FSU and FAMU are the city’s second and eighth largest employers, respectively. The universities also partner with the state department of education to sponsor K-12 “lab schools.” FAMU’s Developmental Research School emphasizes a STEM-based curriculum, and FSU’s university schools focus on research-based learning and community service.

   “Tallahassee is a great city for African Americans because it hosts a diverse body of citizens consisting of families and students who attend many of the leading institutions of higher education and because it allows easy access to the political epicenter of our state government and promotes a strong sense of community,” says Benjamin L. Crump, noted civil rights attorney, co-founder of Parks and Crump law firm and a longtime Tallahassee native. Crump has represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown, among others.

Crump’s wife, Dr. Genae Crump, echoes that sentiment.

“Tallahassee is also a great place for African Americans because it’s reasonably affordable, and there are so many opportunities to get involved in cultural events that are offered by the universities and community college, as well as community-based programs,” she says.

Both FSU and FAMU regularly host educational and cultural programs geared toward empowering the African-American community. For example, the Black Male Initiative at FSU works to recruit more African-American men to the university and then offers a support network during their matriculation. The school’s Black Student Union, which recently was awarded a grant to build a new headquarters on campus, hosts seminars and discussions on race relations. FAMU hosts theatrical productions, musical performances and speakers throughout the year as well as the annual Harambee Festival, celebrating the city’s multicultural heritage, each February.

Tallahassee is also home to the John G. Riley Center/Museum of African American History & Culture and the Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum. The 100 Black Men of Tallahassee’s Saturday Academy provides mentoring, tutoring and college and career readiness training to African American kids.

Tallahassee’s pro-business environment makes it easier for African Americans to start their own businesses. A number of resources and networking opportunities are available to black business owners, including the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce, a regional organization which helps promote minority owned businesses in order to stimulate the north Florida economy, and the Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida A&M University, which offers consulting services and training for student and community entrepreneurs. Then there’s the Minority, Women & Small Business Enterprise Division of Leon County and the Florida State University Supplier Diversity Program – both established to ensure a fair representation of African-American-owned vendors for the state and university.

15. Chicago

 

Chicago is the largest city in the United States that was founded by a Black person. Today, comprising well over a third of the city, Chicago’s black population is the country’s second largest in overall numbers, after New York City. However, blacks make up a larger percentage of Chicago than they do of New York City. Chicago is the largest city with a Black plurality in the United States. The large South Side is the cultural center of Chicago’s black community. The South Side along with the adjoining south suburbs constitutes the largest single Black region in the entire country, and boasts the country’s greatest concentration of black-owned businesses. Some Chicagoans and outsiders from other parts of the country who are ignorant of this area may tell you that it is dangerous. North Siders in general do not think much of the West Side or the South Side (similar to the way Manhattanites in New York City do not think much of the other four boroughs of that city). Although the West Side of Chicago does contain many economically challenged neighborhoods, the reality of the South Side is more complex. On the South Side there are affluent, middle class, and economically challenged neighborhoods. Affluent and upper-middle class areas on the South Side include the South Loop, Hyde Park/Kenwood, upper Bronzeville, Chatham, South Shore, Beverly,Mount Greenwood, West Lawn, and western Morgan Park. Chicago is a very large city and the South Side is large, thus, many people outside the South Side may not be familiar with these affluent/upper-middle class areas on the South Side. The local newscasts also have a bad habit: When a crime happens on the North Side, the commentator will put an emphasis on the neighborhood in which it happened, which tends to not give the entire North Side a bad image. However, when a crime happens on the South Side, the emphasis is put on South Side, thus giving the entire South Side a bad image.

Chicago is the home to some of the world’s most influential Black people like Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Michael and Janet Jackson, Louis Farakkhan, Kanye West, Quincy Jones,  Jessie Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, etc.

30 Richest R and B Stars

Rhythm and blues, often abbreviated as R&B or RnB, is a genre of popular Black American music that originated in the 1940s.[1] The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban Black Americans, at a time when “urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat” was becoming more popular.[2] In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, saxophone, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the Black American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy.[3]Lyrics focus heavily on the themes of triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, freedom, economics, aspirations, and sex.

Birthplace – Detroit

Music Industry size is about $3 billion

  1. Janet Jackson $1.2 billion from Gary, Indiana lives in Qatar and Calabasas, California

Famous Songs – Come Back to me, All for you, Someone to Call my Lover, Got Till its gone, Go Deep, Rock With You,

Childhood home in Gary, Indiana

Current homes in Qatar and Calabasas, California

2. Beyonce $536 million from Houston lives in New York

Famous Songs – No, No, No, Survivor, Bootylicious, Single Ladies, Halo, Green Light, Drunk In Love, On the Run

1035x925-20131213-bey-x1800-1386973114.jpg (1035×925)

Childhood home

Riverside, Houston

3. Mariah Carey $524 million New York

Famous – Sweet Fantasy, Honey, Breakdown, Heartbreaker, Crybaby,  Say Something,

4. Prince $300 million Minneapolis lives in Los Angeles

5. Rihanna $281 million-$300 million  Barbados lives in Pacific Palisades, California

Famous Songs – Umbrella, Rude Boy, Diamonds in the Sky, Throw it up, Work

Rihanna Net Worth

Childhood home, Bridgetown, Barbados

6. Diana Ross $250 million from Detroit lives in Greenwich, Connecticut

Diana Ross

Brewster Housing Projects, Detroit, Michigan

7. Tina Turner $200 million   Tennessee lives in the South of France

8. Lionel Ritchie $200 million Alabama lives in Beverly Hills, California

9. Usher $180 million Chattanooga lives in Roswell, Georgia

9. Justin Timberlake $175 million Memphis lives in Hollywood Hills, California

10. Kenneth Babyface Edmonds $174 million from Indianapolis lives in Los Angeles

 

12. R Kelly $150 million from Chicago lives in Olympia Fields, Illinois

2011-topic-r-kelly.jpg (1200×675)

Childhood home Robert Taylor homes Housing Project Chicago

13. Smokey Robinson $100 million Detroit lives in Los Angeles

14. Akon $80 million from Saint Louis lives in Woodland Hills, California

Akon-Net-Worth.jpg (450×340)

15. Alicia Keys $60 million from New York City lives in Englewood,New Jersey

509525-alicia-keys

16. Aretha Franklin $60 million from Detroit

17. Wanya Morris $60 million from Philadelphia

18. Nathan Bartholomew Morris $ 60 million from Philadelphia

19. Patti Labelle $50 million from Philadelphia lives in Suburban Philadelphia

20. Shawn Stockman $ 45 million

21. Ashanti from Glen Cove, New York   $ 40 million lives in Old Westbury, New York

 

22. Chris Brown $ 30 million from Tappahannock, Virginia lives in Los Angeles

1394838128_161390466_chris-brown-zoom.jpg (1800×1513)

23. Kelly Rowland $ 30 million from Houston lives in Houston

Famous Songs – No, No, No, When Love Takes Over, Dirty Laundry,

24. Keri Hilson $ 25 million from Atlanta lives in Atlanta

Famous Songs – The way you are, Pretty Girl Rock,

Keri-Hilson-New-Single-This-Year.jpg (610×360)

25. Tyrese Gibson $ 25 million from Watts, Los Angeles lives in Woodland Hills, California

26. Cee- Lo Green $ 22 million from Atlanta lives in Atlanta

27. Ciara $20 million from Atlanta lives in Atlanta

Famous Songs – Get Up, Go Girl, Speechless

 

28. Monica $15 million  from Atlanta lives in Atlanta

155919__monica_l

29. Brandy $12 million from McComb, Mississippi lives in Calabasas, California

brandy-iabtm

30. Trey Songz  $12 million from Petersburg, Virginia lives in Los Angeles

Trey-Songz-pub-photo-3-James-Dimmock