Father’s Day is here to remind us of the man in our lives who has stood by through every trial, every lesson learned and every triumph as we’ve progressed through the years. For many, that figure is a no-brainer, and for others, that figure may very well be drawn out beyond the four walls of our homes. Nevertheless, these great guys have served to inspire us, discipline us, and love us—and for that, we’re thankful.
It just wouldn’t seem right if we didn’t also extend our gratitude to the deserving men who have embodied the true essence of Black parenthood on our screens. They’re tough, caring, sensible, and they’re all a bit quirky. In no particular order, here are the top Black TV fathers who all remind us a little bit of our own dads.
9. Julius Rock. Everybody Hates Chris
Julius Rock is the devoted and easygoing dad who works two jobs to take care of his family. His most defining characteristic is his frugality. In an effort to keep his family financially protected at all times, his cheap demeanor can often get in the way of things.
8. James Evans Sr. Good Times
James Evans Sr. is an honest and hard-working man struggling to provide for his family in the projects of Chicago. A no-nonsense father, he portrays the stubborn quality in all of our dads who won’t ever stop making sure their family is taken care of.
7. Dr. Heathcliff “Cliff” Huxtable. The Cosby Show
Despite current circumstances, Dr. Huxtable will always go down in history as the quintessential Black father. An OBGYN married to a lawyer with five kids and a house always full of other relatives, Dr. Huxtable never takes himself or others too seriously, always sneaking drops of humor and crazy antics into every situation.
6. Judge Philip “Uncle Phil” Banks. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Uncle Phil: the tough-as-nails lawyer turned judge, with a big bank account, and an even bigger heart. Raising three children alongside the much revered Aunt Viv in the lavish Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, Philip Banks takes in his at-risk nephew Will, treating him as his own.
5. Officer Carl Winslow. Family Matters
A humble public servant of the law. A loving and caring husband. Most importantly, a father taking care of his three biological children, a nephew, an adopted son, and to some extent, next-door neighbor Steve Urkel.
4. Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons. Run’s House; Rev Run’s Sunday Suppers
Rev Run: Hip Hop legend, philanthropist, practicing minister, affectionate husband, and dedicated father. Unlike everyone else on this list, Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons is an actual person, making him all the more deserving. Some might argue that we only see what’s on television, and that’s fine. Through a series of four separate reality shows, most notably, Run’s House, Simmons has given a proper example of the father who balances business, success, family, love, and he makes it look easy.
3. Dre Johnson. Black-ish
A Howard University alum, and successful advertising executive, Andre “Dre” Johnson Sr. always finds himself in some wacky situation in an effort to pass on his background and culture to his children.
2. George Jefferson. The Jeffersons
A Harlem-born entrepreneur, George Jefferson is a strong father and husband who opened up his own dry cleaning business to do better for his wife and child.
1. Fred G. Sanford. Sanford & Son
Fred G. Sanford is a widowed junk dealer who lives with his 30-year old son, Lamont. Unconventional in his methods, Sanford is always dishing out life lessons to his son on women, money, and everything in-between.