Amos N' Andy Was A Super TV Show

God gave us memories that we might have roses in December. ~J.M. Barrie

Amos 'N Andy

Amos And Andy
Just real people!

I remember theAmos 'n' Andy television program which was first broadcast on CBS television in June 1951.  It lasted some two years before the program was canceled in the midst of growing protest by the black community in 1953. It was the first television series with an all-black cast (the only one of its kind to appear on prime-time, network television for nearly another twenty years).

The adventures of Amos 'n Andy presented the antics of Amos Jones, an Uncle Tom-like, conservative; Andy Brown, his zany business associate; Kingfish Stevens, a scheming smoothie; Lawyer Calhoun, an underhanded crook that no one trusted; Lightnin,' a slow-moving janitor; Sapphire Stevens, a nosey, loud-mouth; Mama, a domineering mother-in-law, and the infamous Madame Queen.

The Characters

The basis for these characters was derived largely from the stereotypic caricatures of African-Americans that had been communicated through several decades of popular American culture, most notably, motion pictures. What no one ever says was outside of these main characters, the remaining African-Americans  on the show were usually professionals such as doctors, police, real-estate people, etc had zero dialects.  They dressed well, ad were like any other American of the day! But nope... the whole program was cancelled.

The program's portrayal of black life and culture was deemed by the some people in the black community of the period as an insulting return to the days of blackface and minstrelsy. Contemporary television viewers might find it difficult to understand what all the clamor was about. Why did the Amos 'n Andy show go on to become one of the most protested of television programs?

If Amos 'N Andy Was Racist, So Was Abbott And Costello!

Amos 'N Andy
We all met at the lodge once a week

As far as I am converned, this was NOT racial any more that Abbott and Costello was!  I recently bought the full series on DVD and frankly it was better than I remember.  On the first one I wached, all the professionals (doctors, police officers, real estate people where black and except for the fact they were black you would mever known from the behavior or voices).  Te bad guys... in this case bank robbers... were two white guys!

African-Americans were still exuberant over recent important gains in civil rights brought on by World War II. They were determined to realize improved images of themselves in popular culture. To some, the characters in Amos 'n Andy, including rude, aggressive women and weak black men were offensive. Neither The Kingfish nor Sapphire Stevens could engage in a conversation without peppering their speech with faulty grammar and mispronunciations. Especially abhorred was the portrayal of black professionals.

 The NAACP, bolstered by its 1951 summer convention, mandated an official protest of the program. The organization outlined a list of specific items it felt were objectionable, for example, how "every character is either a clown or a crook," "Negro doctors are shown as quacks," and "Negro lawyers are shown as crooks." As the series appeared in June 1951, the NAACP appeared in federal court seeking an injunction against its premiere. To network executives, the show was harmless, not much different fromLife with Liugi, The Goldbergs, or any other ethnically oriented show of the times.   Too bad these folks never watched the shows... the bank robberd were white... only the main characters were odd balls.  The black professionals were just that... professionals!  The outrange would be the same as Abott and Costello having the white folks complain cause they may have benn Italian... They were the good balls, everyone else was normal!

With such a goofy view of the world I am surprised they did not protest Laurel and Hardy (because fat men and skinny men were stupid) or try to get Abbott and Costello off the air ( because they were so stupid and could not understand the language) or any other group!

NAACP Needs To Get A Life

We enjoyed the 78 episodes they brought into our life and all of the laughs... and you know what... it was NOT because they were black, they were just FUNNY.  We need more humor like that today instead of the crap we see on 30 minute intervals in this century!

Amos 'N Andy
Great actors and great people being people!

Alvin Childress as Amos Jones
Spencer Williams as Andrew Hogg Brown
Tim Moore as George 'Kingfish' Stevens
Johnny Lee as Algonquin J. Calhoun
Ernestine Wadeas Sapphire Stevens
Nick Stewart as Lightnin'
Amanda Randolph as Sapphire's Mama
Lillian Randolphas Madame Queen
Jester Hairston as Henry Van Porter


Commentary: The people who do not like this show should get a life! Amos n' Andy were just like other comedic duo's!

Listen/Watch One of The Typical Episodes