The Amos 'N' Andy show remains one of the most overlooked, misunderstood, and important pieces of television history ever. It gave a fine cast of talented black actors a chance to compete in the then all white world of television, without being racist.
I would like to begin by saying that The Amos N' Andy television show was definately not racist, as is the general consensus, in fact, most people who put it down as being such have never even seen a single episode! The show originally ran from 1951-1953, and was put in syndication until 1968 when it was removed from the airwaves forever after complaints by the NAACP and CORE. The stigma that haunts this program stems back to the radio show version which had Freeman Gosdin and Charles Correll (two white performers) playing the roles and putting on what essentially was an audio minstrel show. The television version was very different, as it was the first television program to feature an all black cast, and feature them in a positive fashion. It cast African Americans in the roles of doctors, lawyers, policemen, pharmacists, et cetera. The basic storyline of many of the episodes (for those that don't already know) is that the character George "Kingfish" Stevens tries to come up with a "get rich quick" scheme and it usually involves him trying to dupe his friend Andrew H. Brown out of his money. Well naturally his plan always backfires. Gee, that reminds me; wasn't that same basic premise used on The Honeymooners, Sgt. Bilko, Sanford and Son (which, incidently stole some of the Amos n Andy scripts for it's own show, only with subtile changes made!), and the list goes on! To get back to the topic of the alleged racism of this television classic, what about the African American cast programs since Amos n Andy? It is apparently acceptible to call white people "honky" or "cracker" or several other racially motivated epithets on such shows as Martin, Roc, and Sanford and Son, (just to name a few) so my question is: why are these shows allowed to remain on the air and Amos n Andy is not? Watch some episodes of Amos n Andy on DVD or YouTube, and judge for yourself. Thank you.
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