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?
Didn’t wanna be the first lol. Every “Black” television show that aired before the 2000’s was relatable, and they were all very positive. My children can watch them any day even today- whenever I have them. I was not raised in those types of households, however, I knew friends who were, and sometimes admired them for that. Almost every plot, situation, problem in each episode can be compared to daily living (even today)…for anyone!! Just because we aren’t used to seeing things done a certain way doesnt mean it cannot be done. Our reality is not the ONLY reality that exists~ Pernisha G.
Exactly. We need more black writers…So far it seems like we’re only taking over reality shows. And those shows are far from “real”
The Cosby show was one of the greatest shows that has been on the air because it was positive and demonstrated what a black family unit can look like. Both parents working professionals, and all the kids aspiring to attain college degrees – there are families like that. The problem is that we don’t see ENOUGH families like that, in the media nor in real life, and so we are conditioned to believe that they don’t exist.
I think Banner said it was some BS because millions of African Americans at the time could not relate to what was going on with the show. People have to remember that the Cosby show 1st aired in the 1980’s, a time when Reganomics was wreaking havoc on Black families. While drugs, specifically crack, ravage many black communities and qualifications for social programs became more strict (welfare, social security, free lunch programs for inner city kids, etc.) more Blacks became ineligible for these programs pushing them further into poverty, and making a bad situation even more dire. I remember my father told me a while ago that the Cosby show was a good portrayal of a Black family, but it was uninspiring to almost his whole community of African Americans because of their day to day struggle. Although I don’t think the Cosby Show was “BS” I can definitely understand Banners point of view of how the show was seen as a fairy tale by the millions of struggling African Americans in the 1980’s affected by the reality of Reganomics. I think there should be more shows showing working black families that are teachers, managers, and other civil service jobs that would incorporate more of the Black Community.