It truly takes a village to raise a child – moms, aunties, older siblings, and our favorite Black TV moms. Can you imagine what life would be like without the quick and witty comebacks of Nikki Parker, the strength of Florida Evans, or the fierce confidence of Lisa Landry?

These characters become ingrained in our memories, serving as surrogate mothers who imparted wisdom, humor, and love. For many of us, the Black TV moms of iconic sitcoms weren’t just fictional characters; they were guiding figures who practically raised us. So, let’s take a trip down memory lane to celebrate the nostalgia of Black America’s favorite TV moms and the invaluable lessons they taught us.

Our Favorite Black TV Moms

Clair Huxtable: “You Can Get To The Money And Still Raise These Kids.”

Claire Huxtable, played by Phylicia Rashad, was one of history’s most beloved Black TV moms. She showcased elegance, intelligence, and grace. Balancing her law career with mothering five children, she set the standard for modern matriarchs with confidence and support.

Florida Evans: “Life is Hard, Still Choose Joy”

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Florida Evans, portrayed by Esther Rolle, was the heart and soul of the Evans family. Her resilience and unwavering faith kept her family grounded and hopeful, teaching us the power of optimism in hardship.

Aunt Viv: “Work For What You Have.”

Another Black TV mom we all knew and loved was Aunt Vivian Banks. Portrayed by Janet Hubert, Aunt Viv exuded sophistication and warmth as the matriarch of the Banks family. With her sharp wit and nurturing spirit, Aunt Vivian provided sage advice and unconditional love.

Lisa Landry: “Everyone Knows The Best Things In Life Come In Two’s…Earrings, Shoes…”

Lisa Landry was that girl in the Black sitcom world! Her character, played by Jackée Harry, brought laughter and sass to the screen as the single mother of twins Tia and Tamera. Her bright personality, fierce fabulousness and individuality, and confidence inspired women everywhere, showing that humor and love conquer all.

Nikki Parker: “It’s Never Too Late To Chase Your Dreams.”

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Nikki Parker, portrayed by Mo’Nique, redefined the modern single mom with her bold personality and unfiltered humor. Nikki’s devotion to her daughter and pursuit of her dreams showcased the strength and resilience of Black women. Plus, who didn’t love seeing her and Professor Ogolvee’s love play out.

Rochelle Rock: “Everyone Is Happy When Mama Is Happy!”

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Rochelle, played by Tichina Arnold, was the no-nonsense matriarch of the Rock family. She ruled her household with an iron fist and a heart of gold. Despite facing financial struggles and everyday challenges, Rochelle’s love and fierce protection of her children showcased the strength and resilience of Black mothers everywhere. She was a beloved and relatable figure for audiences of all backgrounds.

Cookie Lyon: “Love Fiercely, But Take No S***”

Cookie Lyon, played by Taraji P. Henson, redefined the TV mom archetype. With her fierce ambition, loyalty, and undeniable love for her family, she stood as the matriarch of the Lyon dynasty. Cookie’s strength and resilience in adversity were a powerful reminder of the unbreakable bond of motherhood.

Rainbow Sojourner “Bow” Johnson: “Things Can Always be Figured Out”

Photo credit: Richard Cartwright

Rainbow Johnson of “Black-ish” is an anesthesiologist who is protrayed by Tracee Ellis Ross. Despite Johnson’s flaws, she is a dedicated mother who offers up her wisdom to help her kids navigate the complex world and the role that race frequently plays in it. Her ability to add in humor to her parenting when necessary, makes Johnson all the more likable.

Deidra “Dee” Mitchell: We Will Work It Out

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Dee, portrayed by Sheryl Lee Ralph, was the on-screen representation of what a stepmother should be. Filling the role wasn’t always easy, but her guidance and wisdom helped Moesha navigate adolescence, making her a beloved Black TV mom.