When I was a child growing up, my Black father was adamant that we do not watch certain shows that had Black people in them. Such shows as “Different Strokes,” “Sanford and Sons,” “Family Matters,” “Good Times,” and “The Jeffersons.” Why might you ask? We should be glad to have shows to watch about Black people.
The reason we could not watch them was that the shows made Black people out to be fat, comedians, and uneducated. He felt his children should see themselves depicted in a respectful way. As you can imagine, I did not take kindly to all this high and mighty thinking and rules. All my cousins, family, and friends were watching the shows. Let’s just say I saw a lot of the shows somehow. Lol.
In the mid ‘80s the best show ever, as far as my dad was concerned, showed up on television. “The Cosby Show.” It had two highly educated professional parents, well-mannered children, family time was valued, there was always a good moral to the story, they took on tough issues, they presented Black people in a positive light, and they valued education. They were so much like our family. Role models my dad wanted for us. He was so excited to see people depicted like us and they were having so much fun at it. Bill Cosby wore the same sweaters as my dad and my dad’s sense of humor mirrored Cosby’s. I wanted to be a Huxtable.
We had a standing date, on Thursdays, as a family to tune in to watch “The Cosby Show.” My dad used the show to encourage discussion in the family. It was truly a rich opportunity for our family, and it was absolutely incongruent with what else was going on in our family and Cosby’s life (as we later find out).
Little did we know that Cosby had a side hustle as a rapist. He was drugging women and assaulting
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