The Legacy of The Bill Cosby Show and Its Creator

Is the Legacy of The Cosby Show still alive? You will note that I’m talking about the TV shows legacy not the guilt or innocence of Bill Cosby.

It was a TV show created by Bill Cosby. He was the head writer in all 197 episodes. The TV Series ran from 1984 through 1992, with the primary stars as Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Tempestt Bledsoe, and Lisa Bonet to name the regulars and stars. It was easily the most watched program in the country. That is for the four TV seasons that ran from 1985 through and parts of 1989. It dropped all the way to second place for the last of 1989 and 1990.

A recent (Oct 7) headline for Vibe read “Keshia Knight Pulliam Defends the Legacy Of ‘The Cosby Show.’  Ms. Pulliam, now 36 years old, who played little Rudy, the Huxtable youngest child leaves no doubt as to where she stands in defense of the shows Legacy.

In an article from Vibe’s J’na Jefferson she was quoted as saying “You can’t take back the impact that it had on generations of kids, and it’s continuing to have such a positive impact on them. So I feel like the place that it has in people’s hearts is such a nostalgic part of childhood and beyond, it’s going to be difficult to take back those memories.”

While speaking of who Bill Cosby was at that time and who he is portrayed to be she said, “All I can speak to is the man that I know, and I love. The fact that he’s been such an example, you can’t take away from the great that he has done. You know, the amount, the millions and millions of dollars that he has give back to colleges and education, and just what he did with The Cosby Show and how groundbreaking that was…Ultimately they’re just that, allegations.”

Through everything that I have ever heard or seen of Bill Cosby, he has been a staunch advocate of racial equality. The show spoke to that end. Unlike former basketball legend Michael Jordan, who is nowhere to be found when anyone mentions race.

But now, if we are to believe all these women’s reports of improper sexual conduct while they are unconscious. Virtually all accusing Cosby of providing a drug that incapacitated them while freeing Mr. Cosby up to have his way with his victims. I admit, it hard to take and probably shakes his fans to the core.  Whether we believe it or not, the fact that he has been accused has caused a hell of a rippling effect.

The fact that there are people out there that think providing a date rape drug or putting something in a woman’s drink that render them unconscious. And I do include ex-football player, Darren Sharper, who is now doing a nine-year jail term for the crime above, in this same category. For someone to think that a comatose woman allows for great sex simply blows my mind. That kind of person is a freak and has serious mental issues. Sex is supposed to be a participatory event, by both individuals.  At least that is the best way to have sex in my mind. So, the individual that renders a person unconscious is a sick minded person in the beginning. Having said that, we all know that there are different turn-ons for different people.

What we do know and a historical fact that has been proven over and over again, men and women who have accomplished great feats, champion societal causes, are human beings. Some of their private lives and strange family relationships are shocking when it comes to light. It should not or in most cases have not tarnished those accomplishments.

We don’t have that many people who have done as much for American Society and people of color in general as has Bill Cosby. In 1965, he was the first black man appearing in a television drama. As the ‘I Spy’ series international espionage agent Alexander Scott, he co-starred with actor Robert Culp. He played the part straight, no overt or subtle racial overtones or what might be interpreted as a coonish exhibition.

During the civil rights battles of the sixties, Mr. Cosby was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times,   “I mean, race was still an issue. It’s after the march on Washington, but we’re also dealing with Panthers, militancy, we’re dealing with resistance, we’re dealing with it in the courts, in Congress—at least two, three, four, five senators still saying ‘You may be voting now, but you’re not later, you may be going to school here now, but you won’t later.”

The state of Alabama requires a photo ID when voting. During the week of October 1st, they announced that it would stop issuing driver’s licenses in counties where 75 percent of registered voters are black. They voted to close eight out of ten departments of Motor Vehicles in predominately black areas. Looking at the actions taken by Republican Governors in several states as an overt attack on people of color right to vote. You think the comment made by senators at the time that “you’re not later” has come to pass?

As we have observed in this country, in certain corners of the US, in certain political circles, or within certain demographics anything black doesn’t matter. Our aim should be to make it matter to whomever in any circle. We start by directing our dollars to those organizations and institutions where all are treated equally. People with large amounts of money can do a lot of damage in attempting to gain influence. Is it a conspiracy?

Malcome-Jamal Warners October 9th quote as reported by TMZ was Warner said in an interview, “My biggest concern is when it comes to images of people of color on television and film, no matter what … negative stereotypes of people of color, we’ve always had “The Cosby Show” to hold up against that. And the fact that we no longer have that, that’s the thing that saddens me most because in a few generations the Huxtables will have been just a fairy tale.” He too, like us all felt for the women involved.

I don’t know what the outcome of Mr. Cosby’s case will be if it goes to trial. I do know that in certain circles he’s been found guilty and branded a despicable individual. Even at that, what he accomplished and did for our American society and the black community has to count for something. Or…what if we put surveillance cameras in the bedroom of all political office holders, entertainers and anybody who is in the public spotlight? There is a reality check for us all. What’s that saying, people in glass houses…
Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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