Since the dawn of American history, Black people have been a source of entertainment to mostly White audiences, usually at our own expense and humiliation. That is why before I personally go all the way in and support any Black business, especially in media, I believe in doing due diligence and seeing what I’m being served. I won’t lie though. Good Times may have been before my time but I enjoyed watching reruns as a kid. And I think many would agree that the show was coming of age in a time where Black faces were making strides in the entertainment industry, and Black television was emerging as a force to be reckoned with.
John Amos, who played James Evans on Good Times – a father and husband, struggling to raise his kids in a tough inner city neighborhood in Chicago – had a very interesting television interview with the Archive of American Television where he blatantly said that they kicked him off the show because he wasn’t interested in shucking and jiving for the audience in a way that his character (and other characters) were portrayed. Admitting to being somewhat of a divisive character, Amos said that he was dropped from the show because of his complaints and unwillingness to be a part of the spectacle.
As far as I’m concerned, hat tip to you sir. This is one of the many reasons you are a legend.