Thomas Lancaster Dubois

Thomas Lancaster Dubois (voiced by Cedric Yarbrough)

The Freeman’s neighbor from across the street, Tom Dubois is a well-to-do African-American attorney. His character is seen to be a stereotype of a successful white collar Caucasian man. Tom is skittish and easily frightened. He adheres strictly to the law due to an intense fear of being anally raped in prison, as explained by narration from Huey in the episode “A Date With The Health Inspector”: a flashback shows Tom at age ten watching a prison movie on television and being terrified by it; from then on, he refuses even the slightest legal infractions (“But what if we get caught? We’ll get arrested and anally raped!”). Huey mentions that Tom’s job as a prosecutor is, ironically, to send other black men to the very fate he most fears. He also played basketball in college. His character can be interpreted as an “Uncle Tom” as he is seen as having turned his back on his black heritage to marry a white woman (Sarah), producing a mixed-race child (Jazmine),and becoming a criminal prosecutor who often convicts black people. Although, in line with the complexity of the show, the “Dubois” portion of his name may be an homage to W.E.B. DuBois, thus putting his character in a state of conflict. For example, in one episode the neighborhood watch was convinced of the Freeman family’s guilt in a string of local break-ins due to their unwillingness to speak to the police, and Tom, rather than acquiescing, confronted the neighborhood watch with the ridiculous nature of their accusations. In the episode “The Trial of R. Kelly”, Tom was the prosecuting attorney attempting to prosecute R. Kelly, though he failed – a failure both he and Huey were disappointed with. He also fancies himself as a singer, dreaming of being a successful recording artist. His only problem is that he has no talent as a singer. Tom was at one point the unwilling vessel for Stinkmeaner after Stinkmeaner’s escape from Hell; however Stinkmeaner was eventually exorcised returning Tom to normal (albeit with a few bruises).

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