Photo by: (Top Left) Phylicia Rashad as Clair Hanks Huxtable by Alan Singer/NBCU Photo. (Bottom Left)
JoMarie Payton-Noble as Harriette Winslow in Family Matters by Monty Brinton/CBS. (Center) Esther Rolle as Florida Evans in Good Times by CBS via Getty Images. (Top Right) Tichina Arnold as Rochelle in Everybody Hates Chris by Robert Voets/CBS Photo Archive. (Bottom Right) Isabel Sanford by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images.
In the spirit of #MothersDay, we wanted to pay homage to legendary television mothers while we honor the matriarchs in our families who have reared, loved, and nourished us into adulthood in real life.
For years, Black mothers have served as the foundation and role models for families worldwide. Not only have Black mothers laid the groundwork for successful families, but their motherhood has also kept many of us alive and prepared for the world.
While we would never trade our actual mothers for fictitious ones that were displayed on television, there are numerous attributes that women like Rochelle from Everybody Hates Chris, Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show, and Vivian Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air possessed that assisted us in our early years.
These Black TV moms reminded us of who we are and the importance of finding a piece of home in their roles on screen as we celebrate Mother’s Day and the real-life moms and motherly examples who raised us right!
Florida Evans – Good Times
Florida was a stay-at-home mom responsible for all the household chores and her three children and husband.
This television mom was the delight that held her family together despite their financial difficulties, providing emotional support and loving words. She took on a lot to keep the family happy.
Even though Florida was widowed later in the season, she never missed a beat when it came to her two sons and daughter!
Thank you, Florida, for helping us too.
- Claire Huxtable- The Cosby Show
What is there to say about Claire Huxtable that hasn’t already been said? The mother of five AND lawyer, brilliantly played by the iconic Phylicia Rashad.
Claire Huxtable could read you for filth without raising her voice. She wasn’t the one, but she was the voice of reason, the nurturer.
Who doesn’t love Claire Huxtable?
- Louise “Weezy” Jefferson –The Jeffersons
Louise, fondly known as “Weezy” by her husband George, was played by the late Isabel Sandford.
This television mother was the center of her family’s balance and tranquility. She was there to shift her husband’s viewpoint whenever he was irritated or stressing over the tiniest inconvenience.
No matter what her family was going through, she challenged them and showed grace to them.
- Vivian Banks – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Vivian Banks, sometimes known as “Aunt Viv,” was a refined, confident, and composed woman!
Vivian, a mother of three, welcomed her nephew Will into her home and heart. She was relieved to be able to offer him with a better living situation in Bel-Air.
She highlighted the value of knowledge and its link to prosperity as an educator.
Regardless of their luxurious lifestyle, she wanted to ensure her children stayed thankful and hardworking.
Thanks, Aunt Viv! We appreciate you!
- Harriette Winslow – Family Matters
Everybody knows we need a Mama Winslow in their life, especially one who is self-assured.
One of the most important lessons you can teach your children is to stand up for yourself.
- Rochelle Rock – Everybody Hates Chris
When it comes to respect, Rochelle Rock (played by the legend herself, Tichina Arnold) is a television mom that pops up in our minds!
Rochelle is the queen of saying everything with her iconic facial expressions that we are highly familiar with out of most television moms.
Mama Rochelle was stern and didn’t tolerate any sort of misbehavior. She kept Chris and his siblings on their toes as a mother of three.
Rochelle Rock’s discipline kept us all in line!
- Dee Mitchell – Moesha
Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph played Dee Mitchell, also known as Dee, who represented unconditional love.
Dee happily took on the role of Moesha’s stepparent and patiently nurtured her through her adolescent years within the confines of the show’s timeline.
She took on the role of mother figure and persevered despite Moesha’s continual fights.
Dee knew how to work and play, and she introduced a way of life to the new age that organized new and unconventional ways to parent.
Who is your favorite television mom?