Read about his passing in the newspaper this morning, and he will certainly be missed. For those of you too young to remember, the character is George Jefferson, from the Norman Lear series, “The Jeffersons”. Very progressive for the 70s, I might add. A successful minority business owner, living in high rise apartment, and accross the way, interacting on a regular basis with his neighbors, a biracial couple, a white man married to a black woman.
I like to think of Mr. Sherman Helmsley, the man who portrayed George, as cutting edge. He presented a positive image of what one can do against any obstacles. Yes, he had his not so stellar moments, and don’t we all? I read from one critic, that you weren’t supposed to like him, to paraphrase the quote. Well, I disagree. Mr. Jefferson was just trying to get along in the world he was brought into and had to try harder unfortunately due to racial barriers.
If people would just stop and realize what Mr. Lear was trying to do back then with shows like “The Jeffersons”, “All in The Family”, and even “Good Times” he was just bringing to our attention things we need to address and change. Mr. Lear also presented his characters in positive lights, he didn’t stereotype them. Each one was intelligent, funny, emotional and sensitive. But you have to look past the surface and really watch the characters in the situations they are put in to know that.
See that’s what’s irritating to me, there are those that just choose to look at what is in front of them and accept what’s there, and pass judgment. Then you have those who are interested in learning more, so they understand. Hmm…simple enough…but hard for some to do.
Well, George, you and Weezy are together again and you have moved up. Rest in peace.