Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Cosby Show

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the launching of "The Cosby Show". I have always believed that this show was one of the more important avenues of changing generational attitudes and stereotypes about race. My generation and those after us who grew up on "The Cosby Show" filter many of our thoughts about race through that show. This show positively defined the African-American family in ways that had never been done to that extent before and I would argue that have never happened since.

One of my favorite commentators in the Chicago Tribune, Clarence Page, wrote an interesting piece today about how The Cosby Show in many ways opened the door to the possibility of Obama becoming president. I think this is so very true.

In many ways, Bill was a key catalyst in making Barack safe for white America.

I see The Cosby Show as a "game changer" in American race relations.

Do think the Cosby Show played as significant role as I have suggested?

What are some other "game changers" in American race relations?


Ryan Waltz said...

The Cosby shows was one of my favorite shows growing up. It was one of the few "clean" shows on primetime and one of the few shows that my parents allowed us to watch. I never missed an episode -- even when we were gone that night, I'd tape it.

As a kid watching the show, it was never about black or white. I never thought about the color of their skin. It was just a good funny show. Maybe that was because they were more like the typical "white families" that I grew up around.

Looking back I think there were so many positive things about the show. Why couldn't a black couple be academically and financially successful? No matter what ethnic background, I'd rather watch something uplifting than something "typical." It's inspiring, even though it is just a TV show. I often think about the same thing with rap music, especially "gangster rap." Why is talking about the really bad parts of a rapper's life so glorified? They have a wonderful opportunity to uplift the youth and show them that you can make it. After all, they are now being paid millions of $ to rap about it.

Anonymous said...

To Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of THE COSBY SHOW TV Tango is giving away a 25th Anniversary DVD set (all 8 seasons); a script; and "The Cosby Show" hat to some lucky (and knowledgeable) reader. Take the Trivia Quiz. It’s Easy. Giveaway ends Sunday Sept. 27, 2009

KG said...

I too loved the Cosby show as a child and don't remember thinking about the fact that the family was black. That is part of the power in of the show in my mind. Young white Americans became normalized to the idea that a typical black family could look like that.

As a result, I had positive thoughts of black people and families growing up. I think that as I got older and media changed how black families were portrayed, I begin to see the opposite effect. Now media images have done the opposite and presented a false picture of black families that many in America are believing.