A Salute to Black History Month

black-history-month-2-4-13Since it is Black History Month, Chitownstarconnections has decided to continue our long time tradition  of bringing fun facts about television characters to our devoted readers.  Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane and our tribute to our favorite current Afro-American actors.


Nichelle Nichols in the original Star Trek as Lt Uhura became quite the fantasy to young boys in the sixties. She proved that a woman could be brainy and sexy. Her legendary kiss with Capt Kirk was quite the eye raiser in the civil right sixties.

j5Back in the day, ABC made the Jackson Five into a cartoon. Young girls could follow the adventures of the hip five and dance to their music.  Dig those threads and afros.

boom-boomAnother cool dude from the seventies was Lawrence Hilton Jacobs as Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington . Freddie was the hip “Sweathog”

isaacMany a girl spent Saturday nights with this guy. Ted Lange was “your bartender Isaac” on The Love Boat .

benson1-02Robert Guillaume started off as the butler to the Tates on “Soap” But America loved the way that Benson told off his employers, so he got his own spin off in the early eighties.

jeffThey moved on up from being Archie Bunker’s neighbors to the East Side in their own show. The late Isabel Sanford and Sherman Hemsley  portrayed the couple that gave people a positive message that blacks could move up as well.

angelou-tyson-rootsCicely Tyson and Maya Angelou led the star studded cast of “Roots” It was the television event of the 70’s and sent the whole country searching for their ancestry.




Maude’s maid , Florida and her family moved to Chicago in the hilarious spin off to “Maude” Good Times”


He was the hip night dj at WKRP in Cincinnati, “Venus Flytrap” But later Tim Reid would do guest appearances on “That 70’s show” and appear on the sitcom “Sister, Sister”

 eddie-murphy-mister-robinsonEddie Murphy began his career on “SNL” Here is one of his most memorable characters “Mister Robinson” A ghetto version of children’s tv host Mr Rogers.


slideshow-best-black-sitcoms-different-worldOriginally a spin off of “The Cosby Show”, A Different World” featured the students and faculty of Hillman College including sweethearts Whitley and Dwayne . The show is now known for the famous wedding scene where Whitley was marrying another man when Dwayne declared his love for Whitley. The jilted groom was Joe Morton who went on to earn an Emmy as “Eli Pope” on “Scandal”

anthonyMeshach Taylor was the lovable Anthony Bouvier on “Designing Women”

diann carrollDiahann Carroll has made history and remained a presence on television. As “Julia” , she was the first black female character that was not portrayed as a household servant.  She stirred things up on “Dynasty” as she battled Joan Collins. Most recently, she played Burke’s mother on “Gray’s Anatomy”


“In Living Color” was one of the first hits of the fledgling Fox network.  Damon Wayans was “Homey” the Clown. The show was also a launching pad for Jim Carrey and future Oscar winner , Jamie Foxx

oprahOprah  Winfrey started in Chicago on Channel Seven and from there she took off. Winfrey and her HARPO productions became a force to reckon with.  The Oprah Winfrey Show was a household staple for nearly two decades.

family mattersA spin off from “Perfect Strangers”  Family Matters was about the Winslow family and their hilarious next door neighbor who had a crush on the oldest daughter, Laura. Everyone loved the antics of Steve Urkel super nerd.

levar-burton-2-435x580LeVar Burton was first introduced to television audiences in the historical miniseries Roots” as Kunta Kinte. He is now infamous as Geordi La Forge from “Star Trek The Next Generation” , originally helmsman and becoming Chief Engineer of the USS Enterprise D . Today he plays the best friend and boss of Eric McCormack on “Perception”

gal-fresh-prince-00-jpgWill Smith became the charming teen who was a fish out of water in “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”  He then graduated to being a serious actor and box office king.

martin_cast_photo-croppedMartin Lawrence was the fool on his own Fox show. “Martin

living-single-tv-05It may have be known as the black version of “Friends” but these girls had it goin on.  “The cast of Living Single included Queen Latifeeh, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander, and Kim Fields.



Eriq LaSalle made his mark as Dr Peter Benton, surgeon on the legendary “ER”


Donald Faison first appeared on the tv scene from “Clueless”, a role he played in the original film.  As Dr. Christopher Turk on “Scrubs” , he became the partner in crime to Zack Braff’s “JD”  Today he appears on the TV Land original series, “The Exes”

firefilyRon Glass first was seen on “Barney Miller” as fussy Det Harris , then went on to be on “Friends”as Ross’s divorce lawyer . Now he will forever be known to “Browncoats” as Shepherd Book , preacher on the Serenity on “Firefly”

baileychiefIn 2005 , Shonda Rhimes introduced television audiences to the staff of Seattle Grace Memorial on the power hit “Grey’s Anatomy” .Here are cast members James Pickens Jr. Chandra Wilson and Jesse Williams

BenJason George joined the cast of “Grey’s ” as Dr. Ben Warren the man to sweep Bailey off her feet

niamoAddison Montogomery left Seattle in this GA spinoff “Private Practice” Here are her two best friends, Sam and Naomi  on their wedding day.

shonda_rhimes_t580Here is the most powerful black woman on television. Shonda Rhimes has created the most memorable romances and characters in a total of three series. Her females are fierce and her heroes have sacrificed for the women they love. She is the queen of TGIT and millions watch her three shows. “Grey’s Anatomy” Scandal” and the newest hit “How To Get Away With Murder”

Tracy MorganSNL alums joined Alec Baldwin in this spoof of late night comedy sketch shows “30 Rock” Here is Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan

mercedes-and-rachel-mercedes-jones-30770867-624-352It’s the dueling divas of “Glee” Rachel and that soulful sister , Mercedes

chicago-fire-131Eamonn Walker is Chief Boden on the show about real heroes”Chicago Fire”

Chicago PD - Season 1LaRoyce Hawkins protects the Windy City in “Chicago PD”

garrett_morris_2_broke_girls_0Garrett Morris is a part of television history. He was a member of the “Not Ready For Prime Time Players” the original cast of SNL. Today he’s Earl on the hit “Two Broke Girls”

laniegatesTamala Jones and Penny Jerald Johnson are the gals at the 12th on “Castle”

fitzlivyharrisonShonda takes us for a roller coaster ride every Thursday with the OMG Crazy “Scandal” Here is Kerry Washington, former cast member Columbus Short, and Olivia’s lover Tony Goldwyn. Kerry is Olivia Pope , a former White House communications director who continues to have relations with the married President

JOE MORTON, KHANDI ALEXANDER, KERRY WASHINGTON Joe Morton and Chandi Alexander brought the evil to the table as Olivia’s parents, Maya and Eli Pope  Both turned in award winning performances , but Joe brought home an Emmy for his role.


She is fierce and fabulous. She is an entertainer , astute business woman, and a role model .  She is the host of the hit show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”  She is RuPaul Charles.

how-to-get-away-w-murder-castViola Davis shines as Analise Keating , a law professor who teaches her students about life and most importantly “How to Get Away With Murder”

Andy-Samberg-and-Andre-Br-011Andy Samberg and Andrew Braugher bring on the laughs on “Brooklyn Nine Nine”

MARCUS SCRIBNER, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, MARSAI MARTIN, ANTHONY ANDERSON, MILES BROWN, LAURENCE FISHBURNE, YARA SHAHIDIThe Johnson family shows what it is like to be a modern Black family on “Blackish”

KevinsTim Meadows was on “SNL” as the Ladies Man and Dan Buckatinsky played his gay husband on the comedy “Marry Me” They are the father’s of the main character , Annie .

llcooljChris O Donnell and LL Cool J  keep the peace on NCISLas Angeles

marlagibbsTelevision icon Marla Gibbs has made her mark on three series. “Florence” the Jeffersons maid , “Mary on “227” and most recently she helped the gladiators find important clues on “Scandal”

majorcrimesMalcolm Jamal Warner made his mark as Theo on “The Cosby Show” today he and his girlfriend,Amy Sykes played by Kearran Giovanni. They are joined by Fritz Howard , played by Jon Tenney

empire_article_story_large1-643x430The family that plays together doesn’t necessarily stay together on the newest hit . “Empire” Terrence Howard and Taryn J Herndon are reunited after their roles in “Hustle and Flow” as the heads of the Lyon family, Lucius and Cookie


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