Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this classic sitcom revolves around an African-American family living in the Chicago projects during the 1970s. The series addresses some difficult issues -- including poverty, gangs, violence, and theft -- but manages to keep a sense of humor. Family values are highlighted; they're often discussed within the context of Christianity. Parents also need to know that the series discusses racial bigotry and African-American empowerment. Later episodes also portray some African-American stereotypes.
James often threatens to punch when arguing with other men. Siblings often threaten to hit each other, but they're disciplined for doing so. Both parents threaten to hit their children -- using words such as "spank," "beat," "whip," and "paddle" -- as a means of disciplining them, but they're never seen acting on it.
Fairly mild: "hell," "damn," "butt," etc. Terms often considered racist today are sometimes used, including "spook."
The series reinforces positive values while dealing with universal issues including poverty, violence, and social injustice. It also presents themes specific to the African-American community, including African-American history and social activism. Early episodes move away from African-American stereotyping, while later episodes reinforce them.
Ebony magazine is prominently visible. Occasional references to products, such as Jheri Curl. References to African-American actors, athletes, and other prominent figures of the 1970s.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Occasional consumption of beer and tobacco products.