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Barack Obama's election holds special significance for Bill Cosby

Ecrqqagw_2 The election of Barack Obama as president of the United States had a special significance for comedian and entertainer Bill Cosby. It was the realization of a dream that he felt was first visualized on the groundbreaking "The Cosby Show," which concentrated on the importance of education, hard work and parenting for black families.

"I can't negate the theory that the Huxtables on 'The Cosby Show' may have helped pave the way for the Obama family," Cosby said today. "People enjoyed watching that black family," he said, noting that the Huxtables were a two-parent unit with an educated father and mother constantly loving their children while correcting them. He said the dynamics of the families who brought up Barack and Michelle Obama closely mirrored the Huxtables' commitment to success and excellence.

On the show, Cosby played Cliff Huxtable, an obstetrician who lived with his attorney wife Claire (Phylicia Rashad) and four of their five kids in a New York brownstone.

"The Cosby Show," which aired on NBC from 1984 to 1992, was the top-rated series during the mid-1980s and turned NBC at that time into the No. 1 network. Though it sparked an avalanche of family sitcoms, it was also criticized at the time for what many felt was an unrealistic portrayal of African Americans.

A 25th anniversary DVD box set of the series is scheduled to be released shortly.

Quipped Cosby with a laugh: "For all those people who said they didn't know any black folks like the Huxtables, I wonder if they will watch the show now."

-- Greg Braxton

(Photo courtesy AP)

Comments () | Archives (11)

Good old Bill! While I don't alway agree with him, he's got a point there. I admit guilt and ignorance. Black people in Europe have an easier time in some ways than blacks in America.

We used to have a distorted view too, we also thought that the Huxtables were an unrealistic portrayal of an American family with 5 kids all going to college and university and two educated parents. I was firmly and lovingly corrected by the visit of my third cousins to Europe, whose parents, my fathers second cousins, emigrated to the usa in the 50s from the Caribbean. Their family was the exact same as the Huxtables: two parents who went to university, 5 kids, all went to college, and they weren't really all that special.
The only difference was 3 girls and 2 boys instead of 4 girls and 1 boy ;)

I don't know about the link to the Obama family but it was nice to see a portrayal of my family on TV. It has always annoyed me that stable black families are seen as "unrealistic". Besides my own I know many others.

I'm neither Black nor White and I loved the Huxtables and I think The Cosby show certainly had something to do with Barack Obama's victory. Contrary to what people say, families like the Huxtables did exist. I grew up with two of them in my neighborhood; one across the street--the wife became my high school English teacher. Both parents were educated and put their two children through private school. The other family was the same way. The Mrs. was the local librarian and her daughter was a school teacher (my substitute teacher once). They put a high premium on education and it showed. All of their children are well educated, well settled and not one became a parent at 16.

Don´t knowing any real-existing family like the wonderful Huxtables is no argument against
the possibility!! So I have to ask: why shouldn´t there be any similar families? Besides: Think of prominent black families (politicians, actors, etc.)!

I am glad so see the Huxtables finally made it to the Presidency, and that tere are other "Huxtables" among the Black community. Personally, though, I don't see it much in our Black community, I see it as a raity and still I wonder why. My hope is that now we have the Obamas as an example of what "could' be for the Black community and they will act upon it favorably.

Hello Dr Cosby!

I have always loved and admired you! Your comedy is priceless and lacks the profanity of today's comedians! When 'The Cosby Show' came out, it was a hit because the dialogue is timeless and relates all family members. As a minority woman who grew up with "The Cosby Show," it showed me that minorities could do anything! Thank you for NOT portraying minorities as 'deadbeats' and failures!' Keep up the great work & thank you for continuing to be a role model of mine!

Dear Dr. Cosby:
Was watching you this past weekend on WNBC. The topic of giving of oneself and its rewards reminded me of a quote I thought you might appreciate, though I'm sure at some point in your life you read or heard it:
"We make a living by what we GET,
but we make a life by what we GIVE."
Winston Churchill

I am a traditional married white woman with a 13 year old son. I would like Bill Cosby to know what a blessing The Cosby Show has been to our entire house. I, along with everyone else in the country, watched the show faithfully in the 80s, and was pleasantly surprised to discover it on TVLand several months ago. I introduced it to my son, and he has been hooked ever since. I find it such fun and wholesome entertainment, and my son counts on watching it as part of his night time routine - it takes us all away from the present and just makes us laugh for a while. As a gift to my son, I bought the special 25 Anniversary DVD pack for him for Christmas, and I have to tell you, it is the gift that keeps on giving. We watch several shows each night, and feel like we know the whole "Cosby Family" as though they were our own. Bill Cosby was a terrific role model - it doesn't matter what color you are, and he brought humor and dignity to the role of "father" in TV (unlike many shows made today where the father is a total goofball). Bill Cosby, thank you for being a beacon of light for us and making a show that has really affected my son in a positive way. We love your show, and love you. Now that was entertainment!

I think its cool 4 u to have bill cosby its awsome

Bill Cosby's portrayal of a loving, educated family that happenned to be "black" is only a shock when contrasted with the general media presentation of black people as ghetto gang banger types or poster children for "oreo" comments from the disenfranchised. For those humans who did not get their news from Primetime TV, the major newspapers, or the local bar, the existence of people such as "The Huxtables" comes as no surprise to those of us familiar with such groups as The Boston Guardsmen and their counterparts in every major city in this country. Or put more crudely: There's a reason that news achors of color do not refer to their co-anchors as "my bitch" These anchor persons are at first glance educated, giving rise to much needed assumptions as to how they got that way. Bill Cosby did that and his efforts, in many ways, were relagated to "science fantasy".
I am Caucasian. However, I was a functions waiter for many years and that essentially made me "invisible" and thus able to appreciate people of all colors and varying social and economic strata.

I too loved the Cosby Show and watch the re-runs as often as possible. I always knew there were families like the "Huxtables" and hated it when people complained that the show did not reflect true African American living...but what I always wanted to ask these "people "were..."did Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best"....depict the average white family?


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