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The Portrayal of the ‘Black Family’ in TV

The portrayal of the “stereotypical African American family” on television sitcoms has changed dramatically throughout the last few decades. In fact, most of today’s sitcoms that center on a black family do not really portray a stereotypical black family; from sitcoms featuring black families that debuted in the late 1960s and early 1970s—like Sanford and Sonto sitcoms on TV today—like Black-ish, we can see a transition from what TV considered the “common black family” back then to what TV considers “the common black family” today. But does a “common” black family even exist on sitcoms anymore? What TV considered the definition of the common back family 30 years ago does not apply to sitcoms today. By assembling some of these sitcoms into a timeline, we easily see the gradual transitions from black culture in TV from then to now.

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