Game Changers : Noirebnb and Innclusive

Noirebnb and Noirbnb – two separate businesses, despite their similar names – aim to provide a more inclusive home-sharing platform by bringing together black hosts with black people who are travelling.

Innclusive

After widespread complaints about racism and discrimination on Airbnb, two startups have set out to offer alternative services to African-American travelers.

Noirebnb and Noirbnb – two separate businesses, despite their similar names – aim to provide a more inclusive home-sharing platform by bringing together black hosts with black people who are travelling.

READ MORE: Airbnb’s alleged racism problem continues – North Carolina host removed following racist rant

Both companies were founded by black users who say they experienced discrimination while trying to book accommodation on Airbnb.

“Noirbnb” was founded by Ronnia Cherry and Stefan Grant; former Airbnb users who garnered a lot of attention last fall after a neighbour suspected they were robbing the upscale Airbnb home they were renting in Atlanta.

Yo! The Air B&B we’re staying at is so nice, the neighbors thought we were robbing the place & called the cops! 😂

Rohan Gilkes, founder of “Noirebnb,” came up with the idea in May after his Medium post detailing an alleged racist interaction with an Airbnb host went viral.

“Airbnb’s response to my Medium post was lacklustre at best,” Gilkes told Global News. “I just want to build an inclusive place where people can feel respected.”

While both companies exclusively feature images of African-American travellers on their sites – and Noirbnb’s tag line reads, “The future of black travel is here” – Gilkes said he won’t tolerate any type of discrimination on his service.

noirebnb

“It’s not just a space for black people or people of colour,” he said, noting that he already has hosts with many different cultural backgrounds lined up to welcome guests on Noirebnb.

Gilkes said Noirebnb will allow anyone who feels like they are being discriminated against – whether because of their skin colour, religion, or sexual preference – to find a safe place to stay, with open-minded hosts.

This isn’t the first time discriminatory encounters have led users to create Airbnb alternatives.

Misterbandb – a home-sharing platform specifically for gay travellers – was created in 2013, after founder Matthieu Jost and his partner had a bad experience with an Airbnb host in Barcelona.

The website has since grown to over 55,000 rental listings in 130 countries.

READ MORE: Black Airbnb users speak out about ‘widespread discrimination’ on service

On Wednesday, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky addressed what has come to be known as “Airbnb’s racism problem” during the company’s OpenAir conference.

“Let me make it clear that we have zero tolerance for any amount of racism or discrimination on our platform,” Chesky said. “Over the next couple months, we’re revisiting the design of our platform end to end and look at how we can revisit decisions we’ve made.”

Despite the company making public promises to crack down on discrimination, interest in both Noirebnb and Noirbnb appears to be growing among frustrated users.

.@Airbnb lost my business as a host and a traveler after their failure to address . Looking forward to @Noirbnb!

Read about Noirebnb and the whole racists wont rent on airbnb saga. As a former and possibly future airbnb host… nothing more personal

And I hope that the market of people who dont use airbnb is big enough to support noirebnb, OR that Noirebnb just becomes a regular market

“I feel like there is a real frustration – people are telling their stories. The time is now, and hopefully this movement would be something that makes Airbnb better,” Gilkes said.

Because there has been so much overlap between Noirebnb and Noirbnb’s names, the two companies have been in talks to combine the platforms or work together in some way. However, Gilkes said the companies will remain independent, for now.

10 Black people Fox News does not want on TV

1. Jason Black

 

2. Professor Black Truth

 

3. Claude Anderson

4. Neely Fuller

5. Umar Johnson

6. Tariq Nasheed

7. General Yahanna

ISUPK’s regional director, General Yahanna, defended the group, saying residents’ real issue was not sound, but the group’s message.[6] The group identifies its message as saving local residents’ souls and discouraging people from drugs and crime; it regards its separatist teachings as the real objection residents have

8. Jesse Williams

9. Jeremiah Wright

 

Oreos vs Wiggers – Most Stereotypically Black vs Most Stereotypically White

Criteria

  1. Mannerisms
  2. Alignment with their political or social Issue

 

Blackest White People

  1. Rachel Dolezal

2. Paul Wall

Paul Wall

3. Jon B

4. Tina Marie

5. Eminem

 

Whitest Black People

  1. Stacey Dash

2. Condoleeza Rice

3. Alfonso Ribeiro

4. Coffee Anderson

 

5. Colin Powell

Considering the idea of “Talking white” Many Blacks particularly in urban low class settings, feel that Black Americans who “talk white” are weak.

White man that many Black people like

Tim Wise

Kim Kardashian

Black Man that many White people like regardless of Political Ideology

Morgan Freeman

Black Women that many White people like regardless of Political Ideology

Zoe Saldana

Black Man that Both Races Respect

Denzel Washington

Black People that many White people Hate

Al Sharpton

Jesse Jackson

 

White People that many Black People Hate

Rush Limbaugh

Bill O’Reilly

 

 

Hillary vs Donald and why Sensible Blacks shouldn’t care

Hillary Versus Donald

Black perspective

Donald Trump

4 Blessings in Disguise

  1. Fix Illegal Immigrant Problem
  2. Not allow more potentially racist Muslim refugees into the country
  3. End H1B Visa
  4. Could make Blacks more serious and resilient

 

Cons

  1. Could embolden White racists
  2. Could be lying about reforms

 

 

Hillary Clinton

Pros

  1. Foster environment of Liberalism
  2. Continue liberal policies of her husband

 

Cons

 

  1. Afraid to even call illegal immigrants, illegal
  2. allow more Muslim refugees into the country
  3. End H1B Visa
  4. Could make Blacks less serious and vigilant

 

If Hillary Clinton wins it officially represent the neutering of conservatism in America

 

Anyways none of this matters, what should matter to Black voters, or what should Black voters should ask. Here is the list of demands.

Number 1 – We don’t want anything symbolic, ceremonious, or symptomatic. We want tangible, measurable outfits, in terms of resources, and things we can count.

Number 2 – Blacks are put into a protected class like women and Native Americans, that they get benefits at first cut, and that affirmative action plans should only be specific to Black Americans, and not other fabricated oppressed minorities or groups. That are getting benefits instead of Blacks

Number 3 – Industrialize the major Black Urban areas, and build factories, and businesses that Black people can own. Set up pools of money where BLack people can borrow money on low

Number 4 – Black people would get back the money that was stolen out of the Freedman’s Banks in 1872

Number 5 – Immigrants would pay a special tax when coming into this country, and that tax would go into the Black community.

Blacks voters need to hold everybody accountable who will not support Black causes.

 

 

Game Changers : Black Owned Bank receives 8,000 new bank accounts and $1 million in 5 days

There are 21 African American owned banks with assets totaling approximately $4.7 billion or approximately 0.43 percent of African America’s $1.3 trillion in buying power. In 1994, there were 54 African American owned banks according to the FDIC. Now, there are 21.

In other words 99% of Black Americans put their money in Non Black Banks

Goal push that to at least 15% of Black spending Power

or $150 billion dollars

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/07/15/black-owned-banks-credit-unions/87118624/

10 Largest Black owned Banks

  1. ONE UNITED BANK

https://www.oneunited.com/

In the past two years, we have financed over $100 million in loans – most in low to moderate income communities such as South Central, Compton, Liberty City and Roxbury. However, we never participated in subprime lending. We have always experienced low loan losses.

Our growth has been through acquiring community banks across the country that are equally dedicated to our mission including – Founders National Bank of Los Angeles, Family Savings Bank in Los Angeles, California, Boston Bank of Commerce in Boston,Massachusetts and People’s National Bank of Commerce in Miami, Florida.

Locations – Los Angeles, Miami, Boston

Founded: August 02, 1982

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $590 624 000

2. SEAWAY BANK & TRUST COMPANY

http://www.seawaybank.us/

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: January 02, 1965

FDIC Region: Chicago

Assets: $573,168, 000

 

 

3. LIBERTY BANK & TRUST COMPANY

http://www.libertybank.net/

Liberty, one of the nation’s largest African-American-owned banks, has 20 branches in four states, including locations in Kansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The Douglass National deal raises Liberty’s asset base to $545 million. 

 

Locations: New Orleans, Louisiana | Baton Rouge-Louisiana | Kansas City, Missouri | Dallas, Texas

Founded: November 16, 1972

FDIC Region: Dallas

Assets: $545,019,000

 

5. CITIZENS TRUST BANK

http://www.carverstatebank.com/

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Founded: June 18, 1921

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $392 286 000

6. BROADWAY FEDERAL BANK FSB

http://www.broadwayfederalbank.com/

Location: Los Angeles, California | Inglewood, CA

Founded: February 26, 1947

FDIC Region: San Francisco

Assets: $385 055 000

7. CITY NB OF NEW JERSEY

https://www.citynatbank.com/

 

Location: Newark, New Jersey

Founded: June 11, 1973

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $340 301 000

8. INDUSTRIAL BANK

http://www.industrial-bank.com/

 

Location: Washington, DC

Founded: August 18, 1934

FDIC Region: New York

Assets: $342 524 000

9. MECHANICS & FARMERS BANK

https://www.mfbonline.com/main/index2.html

 

 

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Founded: March 01, 1908

FDIC Region: Atlanta

Assets: $304,809,000

 

Best places to learn Spanish/Los Mejores Lugares Para Aprender Espanol

  1. Miami, Florida

2. Rio Grande Valley

3. Panama

Panama City

4. Argentina

5. Chile

6. Uruguay

7. Costa Rica

San Jose Costa Rica

Richest Spanish speaking places

  1. Monterry, Mexico  $32,000

San Pedro Garza Garcia

2. San Juan, Puerto Rico  $28,000

3. Spain  $26,000

4. Montevideo, Uruguay $24,000

5. Chile $16,000

6. Panama $12,000

panamacity

20% of all Spanish speakers are Black

Spanish Media

Univision

Univision is the largest Spanish-language television network in the U.S. and the fifth largest network overall.

Telemundo is headquartered in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, Florida, and has 1,900 employees worldwide.[2][3] The majority of Telemundo’s programs are filmed at an operated studio facility in Miami, where 85% of the network’s telenovelas were filmed during 2011.[4] The average hourly primetime drama costs $70K to produce.

Best places for Black people to learn Spanish

  1. Equatorial Guinea

2. Cuba

3. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

 

 

 

Jobs you can get from being a Spanish speaker

Bilingual Education teacher $54,000 starting pay

Highest ranked State Universities

  1. University of California – Berkeley  (35)
  2. University of Virginia – Charlottesville (36)
  3. College of William and Mary – Williamsburg (39)
  4. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (41)
  5. University of California – Los Angeles (45)
  6. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (49)
  7. University of Illinois – Champaign (68)
  8. University of Wisconsin – Madison (69)
  9. University of Washington – Seattle (76)
  10. University of Texas – Austin (82)

Highest Grossing Black Hollywood Films

1. STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON-$310 million

With more than $100 million in ticket sales in just its first two weekends, we think Straight Outta Compton is on its way to becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Total Sales – $310 million

Movie Setting Los Angeles, California

2. COMING TO AMERICA – $288 million

Even those of us too young to see this Eddie Murphy classic in theaters back when it originally was released in 1988 have laughed hard enough since then to understand how it pulled in $128 million in ticket sales at the height of the comedian’s career. In overseas sales, the film did even better, bringing in $160 million.

3. BAD BOYS II – $273 million

It’s rare that a sequel outgrosses the original, but that’s exactly what happened with 2003’s Bad Boys II. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence managed to pull in $273 million worldwide while the original Bad Boys only grossed $141 million.

4. The Nutty Professor – $274 million

5. THE HELP – $215 million

If you saw The Help in theaters you were in good company. The film grossed more than $169 million domestically and another $46 million in overseas ticket sales.

6. THE BUTLER – $176 million

Lee Daniels’ The Butler was the top-grossing Black film of 2013, and one of the top 10 highest-grossing Black films of all time. With $116 million in domestic box-office earnings, it inducted Lee Daniels into the exclusive club of directors whose films have earned more than $100 million at the box office.

7. BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE-$173 million

This film wasn’t critically acclaimed at all when it was released in 2000, but fans showed it a lot of love by handing over more than $117 million in domestic box-office ticket sales. Overseas, the film raked in another $56 million.

8. DREAMGIRLS-$155 million

Back in 2006, a lot of people spent their Christmas break in the movie theater singing along with Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé. With the help of music fans, Dreamgirls grossed $103 million domestically and another $51 million overseas.

9. RIDE ALONG – $154 million

 

If there were any questions left about Ice Cube’s ability to deliver box-office gold, he answered them all with 2014’s Ride Along. It spent three weeks at No.1 and even outgrossed Are We There Yet? with an impressive $134 million in domestic box-office earnings

10. A TIME TO KILL

Have you seen the classic movie A Time To Kill? This Samuel L. Jackson-led thriller captivated audiences in 1996 and pulled in $108 million domestically.

11. ARE WE THERE YET?-$97 million

Audiences weren’t sure what to think when Ice Cube transitioned from gangster rap to family films, but considering the success of Are We There Yet? it was clear that he knew what he was doing. This movie proved Ice Cube’s versatility and grossed more than $97 million, counting domestic and international numbers.

 

12. THINK LIKE A MAN-$96 million

 

When this Steve Harvey book was turned into a film in 2012, fans showed their love by helping it earn almost $96 million at the domestic box office.

 

 

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.

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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

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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

 

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