Black Parenting : They Had It Right

Discussion in 'Black Parenting' started by cherryblossom, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    You know, I feel bamboozled. All my young adult life the TV show “Good Times” represented something negative in popular culture. It was always referred to as a perpetuation of stereotypes, a negative portrayal of black life. Everyone focused on JJ as The Coon. But I had the pleasure to lay up...and watch a Good Times marathon on TV- One and it struck me that: Good Times actually had it right.

    It was odd looking at the show again through 2007-colored glasses. So many things stood out to me, especially watching several shows in a row. First, the Evans family probably had the more integrity than any African-American TV family. Ever. Now before you jump in with the Huxtables, I have to say, the Evans are far more impressive because they actually had real life problems. The Huxtables weren’t really struggling like the Evans. I mean the test of a man is how he performs when he’s down right? Well, the Evans were down all the time with constant problems. And these weren’t the Huxtable “the other kids are calling me rich girl”/Gordon Gartrelle problems. These were real life, how-we-gonna-eat problems. There was poverty, VD, unemployment, discrimination, gangs, child abuse, drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy, illiteracy. I mean, if there was a social issue, Good Times covered it. And the family dealt with these issues always with a focus on family, morality, integrity, strength and just being downright decent. What African American TV family represents those values today? ****, what white family for that matter?

    They had a strong two parent home. James was clearly the leader of the family but he and Florida still acted as a partnership. The kids respected the parents. They weren’t obnoxious smart ***** and they weren’t incorrigible troublemakers either. They were regular kids. They were us. Although they were poor, they were hopeful and eager to learn and jump at opportunity.

    JJ was a talented artist. What an incredible role model! I mean as silly as JJ was, he was a talent. Where can you find the representation of a talented African-American painter on TV????? He made black art and painting accessible to the world. He showed us a talent and an art form that many of us would have never been exposed to otherwise. He showed poor kids that poverty cannot stifle art or creativity. And JJ being an artist allowed the producers of the show to incorporate the work of real life African-American artist Ernie Barnes (who did all the actual paintings shown). Where can you find African-American artwork on TV today? Do you realize how hot that is???

    And Thelma. She was sexy yet classy and like all us women growing up made some mistakes and got into some sticky situations. She was about to marry that African fool, she got felt up by Wilona’s creepy guy-friend. I mean that’s real **** there. But through it all she grew up, stepped up when James died, always handled herself with class and grace, and she had a husband before she had a baby. Who would argue she isn’t a great role model for young women of any socio-economic class?

    Ahhhh… and Michael. Little militant Michael. Michael always kept racial issues in the forefront injecting social consciousness into every conversation. And sure, he got a little gay as he grew up (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and his militant rants were soon replaced by cheesy talent show crooning with Penny. But its all good. Michael was the typical city kid. He was militant, excelled in school, strong but respectful of his parents. But he also got involved with gangs, got drunk off Vita-Brite and beat up that fat kid in school that time. He went through what we all go through trying to find ourselves in this world. But through it all he knew that education was the key to his success and that thread ran throughout the show. Where can you find that now?

    And as bad as they may have be doing, they never wanted hand-outs, charity, never made excuses. The acknowledged racism but never used it as a crutch. They didn’t give up, they didnt try to get over. They just knew they had to work twice as hard because racism stacked the deck against them. If times were tough James just worked harder. Thelma would work extra hours part-time. Or they would sell underwear out of that big cardboard box. But Florida and James always had a hopeful outlook. They always focused on hard work and its relationship to success. They helped their neighbors and ate dinner together. No one obsessed over entertainers and athletes, bling was a non-issue and a nuclear family was the rule not the exception. Can you imagine what a world this would be if we all embodied the character traits of the Good Times family?

    Looking at what we currently have passing for representations of African-Americans on TV, I can't believe I ever stuck my nose up at Good Times. I bought into the theory that we should write it off as some negative one-dimensional image of black life. An insult, a stereotype. Something we had come too far to look at. An obselete show with no value and no relevance to modern day black people. But that couldnt be more wrong.

    Tell you what, watch Good Times. And then look at us now. And then look back at it. And then look at us. Look at our images on TV today and look at Good Times and look at us. Look at MTV and VH-1 and BET and then look at us. Look at the evening news and look at us and then look at Good Times.

    And you tell me….didn’t Good Times have it right?




    http://conversate-is-not-a-word.blogspot.com/2007/11/good-times-they-had-it-right.html
     
  2. Da Street So'ja

    Da Street So'ja Banned MEMBER

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    nothing is wrong with GOOD TIMES

    they were a family

    JJ was a older teen what to older teens do?

    and James and Florida held the fort together

    it should you can still family

    without the big 20 room house, cars etc.

    you can STILL be a UNIT

    and that's what GOOD TIMES

    it told everyday life

    P.S. speaking of everyday maybe one of these days we'll get a quote cherryblossom:?:
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    What are you talking about??
     
  4. Afru Shukuwr

    Afru Shukuwr Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Looking at it again some time ago I saw reality and a lot of positiveness in the show.
    While the show was airing in the 70s most Blacks had a different mind set than what is now. Blacks were just coming out of the sixties when there was supposed to be a big improvement in racism and anything depicting ghetto was looked at as negative or stereotypical. I was a young boy in those days so at the time I didnt think much of anything about it but laughs. But now I understand.
     
  5. phynxofkemet

    phynxofkemet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    peace

    It means that when you reprint what someone else has written, you are supposed to put their words in quotations marks and cite the reference so people know you that you are not claiming the writing for your own opinion or voice.

    There is nothing wrong with quoting the works of others, but writers usually use only a portion of the work sizeable to the work itself. For example, if you are writing an essay and it's like 10 - 12 pages you will use more quotations (paragraph size) from a book or journal because it's acceptable in relation to your own insight.

    Reprinting a whole article is not necessary when you can just post a link or cite the article for others to read on their own.

    I enjoyed this article's perspective. The one episode I saw that disappointed me was when this very sttruggling family finds a suitcase full of money and decide to turn it in to the police. Florida references the white Jesus on her wall as guiding their moral decision, and they give the $$$ away. That message of rejecting abundance and financial salvation did not rest well on my consciousness(es)
     
  6. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Although I did not use quotation marks, the link is at the bottom of the article.
     
  7. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    It was there all along. Obviously, So'ja didn't see it.


    He was only looking to find something sarcastic to say to me instead. LOL!
     
  8. Da Street So'ja

    Da Street So'ja Banned MEMBER

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    don't let other people speak for me

    i wasn't talking about that

    i just talking about seeing same of the thing you feel as opposed

    to always providing link, that's good and IMO

    i want to hear what you have to say

    that's all

    that's a good thing
     
  9. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    I think they "had it right."

    It showed a strong Black family unit with morals and work ethic in the midst of poverty, crime and discrimination.

    Looking at the breakdown of the Black family, now, I think it shows just how far we've sunk in being supportive and cohesive units for our children.

    Too many Black children are reared by single mothers or a grandparent. Too many Black parents do not protect the innocence of children and do not encourage their children to succeed despite their circumstances.

    Good Times did. They had it right.
     
  10. Da Street So'ja

    Da Street So'ja Banned MEMBER

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    good stuff

    i appreciate your comment

    i think they got it right
     
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