These days, I hardly get the chance to post as much as I used to. Like many of us, I hold a 9-5 and fail miserably at tweeting and posting all day long. In the past several months, we have lost some of the most influential beings to bless us with their gifts on planet Earth. Sherman Hemsley was truly one of those beings. As a kid my family would huddle in front of the television and watch the opening credits to see George strut into his high-rise apartment in the sky every Sunday night.
His larger than life swagger of a fictional Black businessman that worked his way to the top resonated within the Black community accustomed to watching James struggle in the ghetto on “Good Times”. Last week when I received news of Mr. Hemsley’s passing, I felt obligated to express my sentiments for a man who brought laughter to so many and hope for a select few.
Norman Lear’s name as a writer became synonymous with sitcoms during the 70′s with hits like Sanford and Son,Maude,Different Strokes,Good Times and All in the family, that addressed social and political issues. And gave Sherman an opportunity of a lifetime when he landed his own show(spin-off from All in the Family) and gave voice to George Jefferson. An affluent Black businessman that once worked as a janitor from an economically challenged section of Harlem.
Mr. Hemsley would move on to portray a deacon in Amen and continue to star in countless sitcoms,commercials, and movies over the years.Thank you Sherman for igniting the possibilities of Black entrepreneurship through George. And hopefully one day more of us will aspire to get our piece of the pie and rise higher than our circumstances in today’s version of a racist and bigoted society.