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 African Americans

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SHA NA NA/SYN/1977-81
**(Frederick "Dennis" Greene) The only black musician belonging to the Rock n' Roll group "Sha Na Na" which specialized in nostalgic 1950's music.

*(Richard Roundtree) John Shaft, a flamboyant, streetwise black private detective living in New York City. Richard Roundtree had previously starred in the theatrical movie Shaft (1971) [that inspired the TV series] and in the subsequent theatrical releases Shaft's Big Score! (1972) and Shaft In Africa (1973).

*(Dale Godboldo) Randy “Ran,” up and coming black musician with the rap group Shasta McNasty who lives and performs in Venice Beach with the other two white members of the band.

*(CCH Pounder) Det. Claudette Wyms, a married black police detective working the fictional Farmington District of Los Angeles. She reports to Hispanic Captain David Aceveda and has to contend with a group of corrupt Caucasian cops lead by Detective Vic Mackey. Claudette was promoted to Captain in 2003. Her husband was killed in a drive-by shooting while buying flowers on April Fools Day. Her daughter Bonnie witnessed the event. Michael Jace appeared as gay black police officer Officer Julien Lowe. He later married a woman with a young boy to cover up allegations that he was gay. Brian J. White appeared as Detective Tavon Garris.

**(Michael Warren) P. J. Lewis, a black park ranger working at Sierra National Park somewhere in the western United States. Michael Warren later played police officer Bobby Hill on HILL STREET BLUES.

*(Percy Rodriquez/costar) Jason Hart, a black federal agent and one of three operatives who were member of "The Silent Force" an undercover organization battling crime in Southern California.

SILK STALKINGS/CBS/1991-93/USA/1991-99
**(Ben Vereen) Ben “Hutch” Hutchinson, a black police captain who supervises two white detectives investigating society murders (“Silk Stalkings”) in the Palms Springs, Florida area during the 1991-1992 seasons.

SILVER SPOONS/NBC/1982-86/SYN/1986-87
**(Franklyn Seales) Dexter Stuffins, a fussy black business executive and treasurer of Eddie Toys, a manufacturing company owned by white millionaire Edward Stratton III. Alfonso Ribeiro played Alfonso Speers, Dexter's nephew and the best friend of the millionaire's son. Pearl Bailey also appeared as Lulu Baker, a friend of the millionaire who hosted a cooking show called “Cooking with Lulu, which is sponsored by Stratton Flour.

**(Tim Reid) Marcel "Downtown" Brown, a black undercover police detective working out of San Diego who often got involved in the investigations of the Simon brothers. Tim Reid formerly played Venus Butterfly, a hip disk jockey on the comedy WKRP IN CINCINNATI/CBS/1978-82.

**(Cartoon Character) Dr. Julius Hibbert, the black physician for the white Simpson family Homer, Marge, Maggie, Bart and Lisa. Other black characters included Carl, a black guy who worked with Homer at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

*(David Adkins aka "Sinbad") David Brian, black owner of a computer video graphics firm based in Silicon Valley south of San Francisco (and later as host of a children's TV science show). Other cast included Erin Davis, as Zana Beckley, an adorable six-year-old black girl; Willie Norwood as Little John (L. J.) Beckley, Zana's streetwise 12-year-old brother (both kids were foster children living with David) T. K. Carter as David's clothing store employee friend Clarence; Hal Williams as David's dad, Rudy; and Nancy Wilson as his mother, Louise.

*(Ester Rolle) Sarah Patterson, a black housekeeper working for Jewish New York Deli shop owner. Also featured were Bobby Hosea as Mitchell Patterson, who was hired by the Deli Owner in hopes of making him the heir to his business; and Tommy Ford as Sarah's streetwise son, Reggie.

**(Shawn Michael Howard) Russell, an African-American first year NYU law student who worked at a coffee shop called The Bagel in New York City where locals Johnny and Manny ate breakfast.

**(Joel Robinson, Alexaundria Simmons) Neville Williams and Violet Johnson, two black orphans living at the Redemption House, a Catholic residence for children run by a hard-boiled nun named Sister Kate.

SISTER, SISTER/ABC/1994-95/WB/1995-99
*(Tia Dashon Mowry & Tamera Darvette Mowry) Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell, black twin sisters, separated in their youth and later reunited in Detroit as teenagers. Tia is an honor student; Tamera is sloppy and less studious. Together, however, Tia and Tamera conspired to get their now-single parents romantically involved. Other cast were Tim Reid as Tamera's adoptive father, Ray Campbell who owns a limousine service; Jackée Harry as Tia's sassy adoptive mother, Lisa Landry; Marques Houston as Roger, a young black next-door neighbor who has a crush on Tamera; Alexis Fields as Diavion; Deon Richmond as Jordon; Ronreaco Lee as Tyreke Scott; Chad Haywood as Steven; Rolanda Watts as Vivica; Dorien Wilson as Terrence Winningham; Bianca Lawson as Rhoda; and Christopher Reid as Clark.

*(Larry Fishburne/costar) Corporal Dan "Robby" Robinson, a black newscaster at Armed Forces Vietnam Network in 1967 Saigon. David Hubbard played specialist Percy Wiggins.

60 MINUTES/CBS/1968+
*(Ed Bradley/costar) Ed Bradley, black newscaster and journalist featured on this investigative weekly magazine-of-the-air. in 1981. He replaced Dan Rather in 1982.

**(Bill Cobbs) The Dutchman, a friendly black bartender of a local tavern frequented by white sportswriter ‘Slap’ Maxwell.

**(Harrison Page) Captain Trunk, a black police supervisor who had the unhappy job of coordinating the activities of the maniacal white Lt. Sledgehammer (a la Dirty Harry) who often carried on conversations with his .357 Magnum handgun.

*(Jeffrey D. Sams/costar) Ben Costigan, a black scientist working with a team of intrepid dream researchers who use special sleep-beds to electronically send operatives into people's dreams to battle their nightmares or sort out their problems.

*(Jimmy Scribner) Jimmy Scribner, a white man popular in the 1930s and 40's for his radio program THE JOHNSON FAMILY wherein he voiced a variety of "Black" characters. He first came to television as a local children series in Los Angeles from 1949-51 where he continued his black characterizations (this time in black face). He performed the roles of a down South Uncle Remus character who told yarns to a little girl named Gayle (actually his daughter). When his program was syndicated nationally, the lead character became a puppet.

*(Cleavant Derricks/costar) Rembrandt "Crying Man" Brown, a washed-up soul singer who got caught in a parallel universe time warp with three other people. Tembi Locke also appeared as Diana Davis, a young black female scientist whose good intentions lead to a dangerous experiment that alters two of the former Sliders in season five.

SMART GUY/WB/1997-99
*(Tahj Mowry) T. J. Henderson, a 10-year-old African-American whiz kid who struggles to adjust to his new lifestyle when he transfers to high school. Other cast were John Marshall Jones as T. J.'s dad, Floyd; Jason Weaver as Marcus Henderson; Essence Atkins as Yvette Henderson; Omar Gooding as MorrisL. “Mo“ Tibbs; J. D. Walsh as Mackey Nagel; and Marsha Warfield as Principal Dowling. Tahj Mowry is the brother of Tia and Tamar from the WB sitcom SISTER, SISTER.

*(Tim Reid and Daphne Maxwell Reid/costars) Chance Dennis, a black professor of criminology and his wife Micki, a protocol aide for the State Department both whom always seemed to get drawn into the midst of mystery and intrigue. Other cast included Tasha Scott as Katja Dennis, Chance’s daughter from an earlier marriage; Lynn Whitfield as Chance’s sister Denise Kendall; Moses Gunn as Chance’s father, Chance Dennis, Sr.; Raymond St. Jacques as Micki’s father General Ben Martin; and Barbara McNair as Micki’s mother Virginia Martin.

*(Paula Jai Parker) Roberta, sexy black Los Angeles private eye teamed with two white partners from Glenn Hall, Inc., who track down cheating husbands, missing persons etc. Roberta is not beneath stealing a deadbeat dad’s toupee until he forked over child support payments for her client.

**(Robert Guillaume) Benson Dubois, an officious but very funny black manservant for a crazy wealthy, white family from Dunn's River, Connecticut. His character later got his own spin-off series BENSON/ABC/1979-86 where beginning as a governor's butler, he later reached the heights of state budget director and confidant to the governor. Roscoe Lee Browne later replaced Benson as butler.

*(Réal Andrews/costar) Jason “Chance” Walker, black Philadelphia-born mercenary recruited by a covert operation to travel about the globe assisting in sensitive political hot spots. Chance is an expert helicopter pilot, survivalist and hand-to-hand combat specialist. While in the U.S. military, Chance blew off his knee while repelling down the face of a cliff during a mission in Zivinice, Bosnia to assist a wounded comrade. Assigned to a desk job, he left the Army looking for more excitement as a soldier of fortune. Also featured was Dennis Rodham (introduced in the 1998 season) as Deacon “Deke” Reynolds” a rouge mercenary who fought crime outside the confines of the “system.” using his worldwide contact of underworld cronies. Earlier in his life Deke was a basketball phenomenon who joined the armed forces, became a top chopper pilot in Desert Storm and won the Purple Heart in the bargain. Deke will go anywhere and do anything,

*(Dionne Warwick) Dionne Warwick, a black singer who hosted this weekly musical program that counted down the weeks top ten record hits. Marilyn McCoo replaced her from 1981-84 and again assumed the role of hostess in 1986. In the 1990's Dionne Warwick could be seen info-commercials hawking a "Psychic" phone line service.

**(Cleavant Derricks) Caleb, a black ad agency handyman.

**(Leila Arcieri) Jamaica St. Croix, a buxom black beauty who worked as a lifeguard (ala Pamela Anderson on BAYWATCH).

*(Mario Van Peebles) Sonny Spoon, a street-smart black private investigator working in Los Angeles who often wore disguises to get the job done.

*An hour long variety series produced at WNET-TV New York, featuring black musicians, singers and dancers.

*(Don Cornelius) Don Cornelius, host of the popular music program that featured black performers in the fields of rhythm, blues and rock. In 1971 Don Cornelius took the format of ABC's AMERICAN BANDSTAND, a predominantly white teenage oriented musical program, and created SOUL TRAIN. The program featured an audience of mostly black teenagers who danced and cheered to the music of black artists some who performed live to the audience. The program used a traveling camera that wandered through the crowd of dancers and highlighted many attractive young ladies who often were generously shaking their "groove thing" for the home viewers. In 1997, Mystro Clark took over hosting duties on the program. The series began in Chicago in 1970 as a local show and went into syndication out of Hollywood in 1971. The first annual SOUL TRAIN MUSIC AWARDS was telecast on March 23, 1987 to pay homage to black producers, songwriters, and recording artists who paved the way for black musical entertainers.

*(Aries Spears) Ziggy Duane, black ex-thief who partnered with white Los Angeles-based private investigator. The show was cancelled after one episode.

**(Isaac Hayes) Jerome “Chef” McElroy, a black chef at a elementary school in South Park, Colorado. Chef is a mellow, easy going character filled with encouragement and “sweet love.” He believes in outer space aliens and knows a lot of rock and roll stars. Chef often gives advise to four eight year-old white boys - Stan Marsh, Eric Cartman, Kenny McCormick and Kyle Broslofski. The Chef was forced out of town after he was involve in a Pedophila scandal. Later in the series, a young black boy named "Token" was introduced on the show.

*(Roy Yeats, Lowell Peters, Jay Stone Toney, William Edmonson) This short-lived musical program was of the earliest network series to star black performers. It aired from September-November of 1948 and featured a black gospel quartet who had been heard on radio throughout the 1940's. The group was accompanied by pianist/arranger Clarence Jones.

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