I love music…and I love conversations about music. So when BET aired “Hip Hop vs America” back in 2007, I made sure I didn’t miss an episode. The panel consisted of music artists, professors, authors and other celebrities who discussed their views on hip hop and the Black community.
But, ironically, the one thing I rememeber hearing from the discussion had nothing to do with music. Noted journalist, Lola Ogunnaike, mentioned Blacks in the media and said “The Cosby Show is inspriing.” Hip hop artist David Banner interrupted her and reponded with, “The Cosby Show was some BS…people don’t act like that.” Watch the clip here ( time- 11:25)
I wish I was on the panel. I wonder what prompted Banner’s comment. Was it because the Huxtables were affluent? Was it because the Huxtables consisted of an African-American family with a two-parent household? Was it because there were actually positive portrayals of African-Americans on television? *Gasp*…Because I know for a fact there ARE African-Americans who “act like that.”
The Cosby Show was refreshing. There was finally a Black family on television who depicted the antithesis of what the audience was accustomed to viewing on the screens. To some, the characters on the show were relatable…and like Lola said, the show was “inspiring.” So if you didn’t come from a household like the Huxtables, you WANTED to grow up and have a family similar to the Huxtables.
The problem is, there is not a balance with the African-American characters that exist on television shows today. Therefore, there are plenty of people who think like David Banner and believe Blacks do not act in a professional, educated, cultural manner. We’re so used to seeing negative images that we believe that’s all we are…but we’re not. We’re MUCH more than that. I commend BET for airing “Reed Between The Lines” (a positive African-American show with a message) but we need more. I hope that in years to come, we will see more characters similar to the Huxtables so people will know that some of us DO “act like that.”
Again, this series aired in 2007…but the argument is still relevant.
What do you think? Was the Cosby show BS?