Forgotten Black Sitcoms: Unearthing Television’s Hidden Treasures.

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( In the rich tapestry of television history, black sitcoms have played a crucial role in entertainment, offering laughs, life lessons, and cultural insights. However, many impactful shows have faded into obscurity, deserving a second look for their pioneering work in representing black experiences and voices.

 Forgotten Black Sitcoms: Unearthing Television's Hidden Treasures.

2. “The Parent ‘Hood” (1995-1999) Robert Townsend’s “The Parent ‘Hood” skillfully blended comedy with serious social issues, depicting the life of a middle-class African American family in a relatable and humorous way. It addressed topics from education to community involvement, making it a significant but often overlooked show.

3. “Frank’s Place” (1987-1988) “Frank’s Place” offered a unique narrative with its mix of drama and comedy. Set in New Orleans, it provided a culturally rich portrayal of life in the South, discussing race and class with a subtlety rare for its time. Despite critical acclaim, it remains largely forgotten.

4. “Roc” (1991-1994) Charles S. Dutton starred in “Roc,” a show remarkable for its live broadcast and realistic portrayal of a working-class family in Baltimore. It tackled issues like labor rights, drug addiction, and racial injustice, standing out for its bold approach.

5. “Getting By” (1993-1994) The sitcom “Getting By” is notable for its portrayal of blended family dynamics and cross-racial friendships. It focused on two single mothers merging families, providing a narrative filled with humor and heartwarming lessons about unity and cooperation.

6. “The Hughleys” (1998-2002) “The Hughleys” explored the challenges of a black family moving to a predominantly white suburb. The sitcom cleverly used humor to discuss themes of assimilation and identity, making significant points about societal integration.

7. “South Central” (1994) “South Central” was a critically lauded but short-lived series that dealt with life in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood. It offered a gritty, realistic look at the struggles and resilience of its characters, handling issues like poverty and violence with a rare authenticity.

8. “True Colors” (1990-1992) “True Colors” dealt with racial and familial dynamics, featuring an interracial marriage and the blended family that comes with it. The show was ahead of its time in discussing the complexities of racial identity and acceptance in America.

9. “Malcolm & Eddie” (1996-2000) “Malcolm & Eddie” starred Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Eddie Griffin as two friends with differing views on life and business. The show is memorable for its humorous take on friendship and the pursuit of the American Dream.

10. “Here and Now” (1992-1993) Created by Bill Cosby, “Here and Now” followed the life of a young African American psychology graduate. It highlighted educational aspirations and personal growth, yet did not receive the attention it deserved.

11. “Cuts” (2005-2006) “Cuts,” a spin-off of “One on One,” featured a stylish urban hair salon and the dynamic between the new owner and the staff. It mixed comedy with business entrepreneurship themes, yet it’s rarely discussed today.

12. “City Guys” (1997-2001) “City Guys” was a Saturday morning sitcom that stood out for its urban setting and focus on friendship across cultural lines. The show was entertaining and offered messages about acceptance and teamwork.

13. “Out All Night” (1992-1993) Starring Patti LaBelle, “Out All Night” centered around a nightclub owner and her interactions with the younger generation. It combined music, comedy, and a bit of romance, providing a showcase for LaBelle’s talents.

14. “Between Brothers” (1997-1999) “Between Brothers” depicted the lives of four African American men balancing careers, romance, and friendship in Chicago. The sitcom was praised for its relatable characters and comedic timing.

15. “Sparks” (1996-1998) “Sparks,” featuring James Avery and Robin Givens, followed a family-run law firm dealing with professional and personal challenges. The show mixed legal drama with comedy but didn’t manage to secure a lasting legacy.

16. “Built to Last” (1997) “Built to Last” was a sitcom about a struggling family construction business. Although it was one of the few shows at the time to focus on black entrepreneurs, it was quickly cancelled and is seldom remembered.

17. “Goode Behavior” (1996-1997) Featuring Sherman Hemsley, “Goode Behavior” was a comedy about a paroled con artist trying to mend his relationship with his son through humorous and touching misadventures.

18. “On Our Own” (1994-1995) “On Our Own” featured the Smollett siblings managing life after their parents’ death. It was unique for its young, all-black main cast and its blend of humor and family values.

19. “Me and the Boys” (1994-1995) Steve Harvey’s “Me and the Boys” was a heartwarming comedy about a widower raising his three sons. It provided laughs and life lessons but did not last beyond a single season.

20. “Cleghorne!” (1995) Ellen Cleghorne starred in “Cleghorne!” a sitcom about a single mother returning to her home in New York to start anew. It was notable for its focus on a strong, independent black woman’s journey but remains largely forgotten.

21. “Homeboys in Outer Space” (1996-1997) “Homeboys in Outer Space” was a quirky and humorous take on science fiction, featuring two black astronauts navigating the galaxy. Despite its attempt to blend genres, it was met with mixed reviews and is often overlooked.

22. “Charlie & Co.” (1985-1986) Starring Flip Wilson and Gladys Knight, “Charlie & Co.” was a family-oriented sitcom that attempted to depict the everyday life of an average African American family. Despite the star power, it struggled to find its audience.

23. “Grown Ups” (1999-2000) “Grown Ups,” starring Jaleel White, followed a young man’s adjustment to life after college, exploring adult responsibilities and personal growth. The show offered a humorous look at post-collegiate life but is rarely mentioned today.

24. “Snoops” (1989-1990) “Snoops” was an intriguing blend of comedy and mystery, featuring a mother-daughter detective duo. It was innovative in its approach but didn’t capture a large audience, leading to its early cancellation.

25. “Minor Adjustments” (1995-1996) “Minor Adjustments” starred Rondell Sheridan as a child psychologist juggling his professional responsibilities and his role as a father. It was unique for its focus on mental health but did not survive past its first season.

26. “Mr. Cooper” (1992-1997) Although “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” is better remembered than many others on this list, it deserves mention for how it balanced humor and educational themes, with Mark Curry playing a high school teacher and basketball coach.

27. “Teen Summit” (1989-2002) Though not a sitcom, “Teen Summit” was a groundbreaking show on BET that offered a platform for young African Americans to discuss various social and personal issues. It was pivotal in providing a voice to the youth but is often forgotten in discussions about influential black programming.

28. “All About the Andersons” (2003-2004) “All About the Andersons” starred Anthony Anderson as a single father trying to pursue his acting career while living with his parents. It mixed family dynamics with personal ambition, providing laughs along the way.

29. “Thea” (1993-1994) “Thea” was a sitcom that starred comedian Thea Vidale as a single mother working two jobs to support her four children. The show was notable for its portrayal of a strong, resilient black woman, but it lasted only one season.

30. “Like Family” (2003-2004) “Like Family” dealt with themes of family and race, featuring a white family and a black family sharing a home. It attempted to tackle issues of racial harmony and family values through comedy, but didn’t make a lasting impact.

31. “Fast Track” (1997-1998) “Fast Track” was a drama with comedic elements set in the high-stakes world of auto racing. Featuring an African American lead, it explored the challenges and triumphs within a predominantly white sport, offering a different narrative angle.

32. “Arsenio” (1997) “Arsenio,” a sitcom starring Arsenio Hall as a talk show host balancing his career and parenting responsibilities, attempted to capitalize on Hall’s popularity. However, it failed to attract a significant audience and was quickly canceled.

33. “Linc’s” (1998-2000) “Linc’s” was set in a Washington D.C. bar and offered a sophisticated take on politics, race, and life in the capital city. It provided a mix of humor and drama, featuring a diverse cast that tackled topical issues.

34. “For Your Love” (1998-2002) “For Your Love,” which explored the romantic relationships of several couples at different stages in their lives, mixed sharp wit and insights about love and commitment. Its ensemble cast and clever writing made it a beloved, though often overlooked, show.

35. “Ask Harriet” (1998) “Ask Harriet” was a short-lived sitcom about a male sports writer who dresses as a woman to work as an advice columnist. This unusual premise offered comedic exploration of gender roles and stereotypes but was not well-received.

36. “Oh Drama!” (2000-2003) “Oh Drama!” was another BET production that provided a forum for black women to discuss various life issues, from relationships to personal growth. Its format was innovative, yet it is rarely mentioned among influential black shows.

37. “One on One” (2001-2006) While “One on One” is better remembered than many others, it’s worth revisiting for its portrayal of a single father raising his daughter. It combined humor with heartfelt moments, effectively exploring themes of family and growing up.

38. “The Royal Family” (1991-1992) “The Royal Family” starred Redd Foxx and Della Reese as a retired couple whose life is disrupted when their daughter and grandchildren move in. The show had potential but was tragically cut short due to Foxx’s untimely death.

39. “Where I Live” (1993) “Where I Live” was a short-lived sitcom that provided a humorous yet poignant look at the life of a teenager in Harlem. It was praised for its realistic portrayal of urban life but did not last long.

40. “The Sinbad Show” (1993-1994) “The Sinbad Show” featured comedian Sinbad as a bachelor who adopts two orphaned children. It mixed comedy with themes of unconventional family structures and the challenges of parenting.

41. “Moesha” (1996-2001) “Moesha,” starring Brandy Norwood, is one of the more memorable shows from the late 90s but still merits discussion for its focus on a young black woman dealing with life’s challenges. It provided a mix of teenage angst and family values, resonating with a broad audience.

42. “Eve” (2003-2006) The sitcom “Eve,” named after its star, the rapper and actress Eve, followed the life of a fashion designer and her friends as they navigated careers, romance, and friendship in Miami. It was stylish, fun, and tackled modern womanhood.

43. “Cuts” (2005-2006) Returning to “Cuts,” its significance lies in its urban setting and blend of comedy with business entrepreneurship. Though it was a spin-off and featured some recurring characters from other shows, it managed to carve out its own identity.

44. “The Steve Harvey Show” (1996-2002) “The Steve Harvey Show” deserves a mention not just for its comedic strength but for its depiction of African American educators and students in an urban high school setting. It blended humor with meaningful life lessons, making it a staple of late 90s television.

45. “The Jamie Foxx Show” (1996-2001) “The Jamie Foxx Show” showcased Jamie Foxx’s comedic talent and his character’s aspirations in the entertainment industry. Set in a hotel, it provided a backdrop for various humorous situations and romantic antics.

46. “Sister, Sister” (1994-1999) “Sister, Sister” featured Tia and Tamera Mowry as twins separated at birth and reunited as teenagers. It combined elements of family comedy with typical teenage troubles, resonating with a young audience.

47. “Smart Guy” (1997-1999) “Smart Guy” was about a child prodigy navigating high school life while being much younger than his peers. It offered a humorous yet thoughtful look at the challenges faced by gifted children.

48. “Living Single” (1993-1998) “Living Single” was a groundbreaking show that centered on four African American women living in New York. It was pivotal in portraying the lives of young black professionals and their interpersonal relationships.

49. “Half & Half” (2002-2006) “Half & Half” explored the dynamics between two half-sisters who were very different but tried to build a relationship as adults. It was noted for its comedic approach to family and professional life.

Conclusion: Importance of Remembering Forgotten Black Sitcoms

These forgotten black sitcoms provide valuable insights into the cultural and social dynamics of their times. By revisiting them, we not only celebrate their contributions but also understand more deeply the evolution of representation in media. These shows, with their varied narratives and characters, deserve recognition and remembrance as significant pieces of television history.

Staff Writer; Jamar Jackson

This brother has a passion for poetry and music. One may contact him at;