You don’t have to have kids to be a dad. And representation is everything. As we celebrate Father’s Day we have to celebrate some of the best black TV and movie dads of all time.
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Whether they were stepfathers, uncles, friend’s dads, real dads, grandpas, these guys stepped up to give great examples of how to be a father. And some were the only father figures we saw in our lives. Some were stern, some were fun, but all were loving. They changed the narrative that the media would like us to believe and they deserve the praise. Father’s Day is every day but today on Father’s Day we celebrate some of the best black TV and movie dads of all time.
Movie: Hair Love
It may be a short film and it may be animated but the relationship between Stephen and Zuri and Zuri’s hair is impactful. Through his dedication to learning how to do her hair is a heartwarming lesson learned on parenthood.
TV Show: The Flash
He not only was a great father to his daughter, raising her as a single father. But he was also a great step-in dad to her childhood best friend after his father went to prison for allegedly killing his mother. He was loving, supportive, but also honest and stern.
TV Show: Smart Guy
He was a single dad to four, with one being a genius. We say four because he was such a great father figure to his son Marcus’s best friend Mo.
TV Show: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
First things first rest and peace Uncle Phil. He wasn’t just a father for his kids but one of the greatest examples of how men step up when other men step out.
Movie: John Q
He takes over a hospital just to make sure his son Michael receives his life-saving transplant after his insurance refuses to cover the surgery.
Ralph Angel Bordelon
TV Show: Queen Sugar
By no definition is Ralph Angel perfect. But by all definition is he a great father. Despite the bad decision he made as a young child, he does everything for his son, who’s mother battles with her addiction and lies. He’s accepting and still there for his son even after it was discovered that Blue isn’t even his.
TV Show: Black Lightning
Pierce by far is my favorite father. Not only is he a superhero dad, literally, but he is raising three superhero daughters and giving them a constant reminder of how a man should be. Plus he’s a father figure to all the kids in their town as he’s the school principal and a great one at that.
TV Show: The Cosby Show
Dr. Huxtable wasn’t only a great father but he was also humorous and respectful of his powerful wife.
Movie: Daddy’s Little Girls
All Monty wanted to do was raise his daughters and he fought for that right despite everything that was against him.
TV Show: Black-ish
Andre is giving his kids the life he didn’t have while trying to educate them on lessons their school system isn’t teaching them. He’s a great father in these current times because he is preparing his kids, as spoiled as they may be, for the real world and all its antics.
Movie: Boyz N the Hood
One great lesson Furious taught us is that it takes a man to raise a boy. He also taught us to always look a person in the eyes, ever be afraid to ask for anything, and don’t respect anyone who doesn’t respect you back.
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TV Show: This Is Us
Randall Pearson is just a great person PERIOD. Even with his flaws he is still a great father, husband, and brother.
TV Sohw: The Wayans Bros.
Pops taught the importance of entrepreneurship and sibling love something that is needed at all times.
Movie: Lean on Me
Mr. Clark was one of the greatest father figures in cinema, especially when it came to the school system. He believed in the future of all of those kids and he invested so much in them that he turned that school around.
TV Show: Good Times
James Evans was a true patriarch of his family. Despite the family’s financial troubles, James worked hard and loved harder, and probably disciplined the hardest.
TV Show: Family Matters
Carl Winslow was probably the most loving father despite how many times he buttheads with his kids, especially Eddie. And although he wasn’t Steve Urkel’s father, that didn’t stop him from being a father-figure to his nerdy neighbor.
Movie: The Pursuit of Happyness
He didn’t have much but he had his son to provide for and while the situations were not ideal, he never stopped trying to give his son a place to call home. He is an example of someone who will sacrifice for his child no matter the circumstances.
Paul Patterson Sr.
TV Show: Being Mary Jane
If you want the example of a great man, look at Paul Patterson Sr. and the way he fathered his children and grandchildren. He was there for his wife as she fought lupus, his son as he fought drugs, his granddaughter and her multiple kids, and all the issues that Mary Jane bought on her own. He was strong and loving and a great example of a father.
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Movie: Jerry Mcquire
He was a pro athlete that wasn’t just a great husband but an even better dad. His affection towards his family inspired Jerry Mcguire as well as his fight to have a better contract.
TV Show: Moesha
Despite his HUGE mistake (yes, we’re talking about him fathering Dorian and raising him like he was his Uncle) that almost didn’t allow him to be counted. He was a good father to not only his kids but his kids’ friends, especially Hakeem.
TV Show: One on One
Washington was the first example in which a man was only a single father. He also showed us how you can be a friend to your daughter but also a parent first.
TV Show: The Bernie Mac Show
Bernie Mac wasn’t a father he was an uncle who became a father overnight and he may be rough around the edges but for he was loving and he learned how to be a great father figure to them.
TV Show: My Wife and Kids
Michael represented the newer age parenting. The one where kids had phones and were on computers all the time. He gave harsh parenting but also petty parenting. The mix of both was a good change to the fathers we saw in the 90s.
Movie: House Party
He was a no-nonsense father who only wanted to see his son do right and he would do that while roasting you at the same time.
Christopher “Julius” Rock II
TV Show: Everybody Hates Chris
Julius was a father who sacrificed himself for his family. He worked multiple jobs to give his wife and kids the life he didn’t have. He also deemed cheap, but it was apparent he was trying to teach his kids to value money because he didn’t have it growing up.
Colonel Bradford Taylor
TV Show: A Different World
He was a great father to his kids but also a great father figure to all the kids that attended the school and it was apparent the many times people went to him for advice.
TV Show: Sister, Sister
Ray Campbell represented adoptive fathers. He took on a great father role to his adopted daughter, Tamera, and then did the same to her long-lost twin sister, Tia.
Pops taught a few life lessons that every young adult should heed to: take care of your household responsibilities, have a source of income, and don’t resort to gun violence, live to fight another day. Oh and also, never go into the bathroom after someone does a number 2.
TV Show: The Jeffersons
Jefferson wasn’t a great person but he was a great dad. He showed his son through “moving on up” what hard work can give you.
Robert Jebediah Freeman
TV Show: The Boondocks
Riley and Huey’s granddad raised those boys with the same energy and love that any father would do to keep them on the right track.
Fred G. Sandford
TV Show: Sandford and Son
Fred was the first example of a single father, entrepreneur that was saw on TV. He may own a junkyard and have jokes, but he taught his son of ownership and to not take any mess from anyone.
TV Show: The Parent ‘Hood
Robert was the “fun” dad. He believed in them and all their dreams.
Juan shows that it doesn’t take much to be a father figure and an important figure in a child’s journey through life. He is not perfect but he impacted Little’s life so much.