Your Turn: User Nominations

Your Turn: George Jefferson

From The Jeffersons, created by Don Nichol and Michael Ross
Nominated by Jeffrey Alexander Brathwaite

Considering your question on influential American fictional characters, I think of George Jefferson, of the TV show, The Jeffersons.

As a young Black boy growing up during the 70s in South Bronx, I didn't have many role models. But in George Jefferson I witnessed weekly the fortitude and drive of a successful Black businessman.

In a time where pimps and denim were all the rage, I marveled at this endearingly brazen Manhattan penthouse-dweller who owned a dry cleaning chain and had a preference for smart 3-piece suits.

George had a loving relationship with his wife, only wanted the best for his son, and revered his mother. When confronted with racism he never backed down.

George Jefferson was the reason I carried a briefcase to grade school every day. I was teased when I walked down the block with my black Samsonite, but I didn't care. George did, and so could I.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

I envision your walking to school with a briefcase and I think it must have been such a lovely sight to behold. I hope you haven't lost your resolve to follow your principles regardless of what others may think or say!

Sent by annette robbins | 8:44 PM | 2-1-2008

Wow that's profound, I never really paid attention to the example he was setting during that era.

Sent by Janiene Hines | 11:11 AM | 2-5-2008

Seeing George Jefferson through your eyes is so refreshing. I'd never thought about him that way and you're absolutely right.

Sent by Peggy Duncan | 6:17 PM | 2-5-2008

I too watched the Jefferson's everday. It become a ritual with my brother and I to tune in to hear what brilliant idea George was getting ready to come up with and how he would respond to other folks who thought he was only a joke to have dreams. Congrats Mr. Braithwaite on your insightfulness.

Sent by Charmaine A. Gordon | 8:52 AM | 2-6-2008

About

Support comes from: