Good Times. Anytime you need a payment. Good Times. Anytime you need a friend.
Maybe it’s those last words ... “need a friend,’’ from the theme song of the classic television show “Good Times,’’ that connected with so many of us.
The “Montgomery Uprising,” as it’s been nicknamed by the internet, has clearly made an impact. Millions of social media users have posted videos and images dissecting every moment of the Alabama riverfront brawl.
But one highly shared video has managed to snag everyone’s attention. This week, artist James Charles Morris remixed a video of the riverside altercation with the theme song from Good Times.
Scott poulson-Bryant tweeted posted tweet, adding “We just some creative ass folks.”
Then there was this poetic tweet: “My soul is rested. my heart is full. I have a Denzel Glory tear rolling down my cheek.”
That tweet came from Ohio State University History Professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries, who has the video pinned.
We caught up with Jeffries who says it struck a nerve for a reason. “It encapsulates everything that drew the Black community to this moment,” explains Jeffries.
The video starts off with the Black Riverboat worker, highlighting the “Brother Doing His Job” as the star of the production. Jeffries says the caption truly highlights the dark absurdity of the situation. “All he is doing is his job,” says Jeffries, but that didn’t prevent him from being the victim of a “potential lynch mob.”
The fact that instead of watching another “George Floyd” video, we saw Black people fighting back in mutual defense resonated with people, says Jeffries.
The video also highlights other “characters” from the brawl, including “UNC With The Chair,” “The Aunties,” “The Bruhs,” and even “Michael Evans Phelps.”
“One of the funniest things about the video is the naming of the young brother who dives Into the Alabama River,” says Jeffries. “The fact that he sees his coworker being assaulted and it pisses him off so much that he has to get there... it’s a rejection of this deeply rooted racist stereotype, Black people not having unity and also not being able to swim.”
What we’re witnessing in this video of the incident is a show of Black solidarity and resistance, says Jeffries. “It was the willingness of these folks to pick up arms in self-defense, and it’s one that we don’t hear about because of the media’s bias to non-violence,” he says. “And we have the symbolically with the chair.”
The choice of the Good Times theme song also can’t be ignored, says Jeffries. “There’s a soulful connection to good times,” he says. “I grew up on Good Times, and the theme song is arguably one of the top theme songs in television history and... one of the top theme songs in Black history.”