When the modern Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s became a continuous part of the airways, blacks broke new ground in lead roles such as Diahann Carroll in the television sitcom Julia. By the 1970s situation comedies were the top shows for blacks. Although there were some dramas, comedies thrived. Comedians such as Flip Wilson and Redd Foxx had their own shows, while family comedies included The Jeffersons and Good Times. Family comedies depicted black life as well as the challenges, successes, and creativity of black urban culture.
Clockwise from left, Isabel Sanford, Mike Evans, and Sherman Hemsley portrayed the Jeffersons in the successful 1970s and ’80s television sitcom show about a black man with a successful business.