I generally feel like I am in a space of observation and perspective defense. I actively acknowledge my ego and aim to remove it when new information, people, and environments are introduced. In our chosen spaces, we are a part of a micro-system that is directly affected by the perpetuation of the macro-world. Because I enjoy writing, debate, and exploration, I find myself on Twitter observing and engaging. Recently, I came across a tweet that I could have ignored but decided to invest some time.
More or less, it read:
“I don’t understand how the Cosby show was so instrumental to black men... if they didn’t even try to implement that family [element] into their own families. How was y’all raised by a family show with no family values whatsoever?”
This is a moment, which was preceded by other moments and followed by more for even more to occur. I am pointing this out as perhaps to shed some insight on how I think and experience text and dialogue. First, I went online and researched when the show aired, and for how long. The Cosby show ran from 1984 to 1992. I was born in 1994 and only understand this time period through the Black experience and still deal with the effects communally, colloquially, and culturally. When blanket statements are made about specific groups of people, I feel like context always matters. In context, Ronald Reagan was in office, and the late 70’s early 80’s was the height of cocaine and crack. Crack spread throughout the Black community like gnats on fruit. Israeli guns flooded the streets, and as people feigned, their bodies turned against them and in turn, they did what they needed to do in order to survive the addiction; steal, kill, and get high. Some were afforded the opportunities to heal and get clean but most, did not.
So, the Cosby show as a timeless classic being aired on television as the cities around burned and killed- swarming in chaos- it is and was, in my opinion quite harsh to aggressively criticize how families, dismantled so quickly and communities began to flip and turn into infestations of people who were disproportionately affected, targeted, and left to fend. So for me, I understand how the Cosby Show instrumentally existed as a visual reference for those who were able to maneuver through- and I also understand how the Cosby Show cannot be the only driving force to keep communities in mass in tact when peoples’ own governments are out exterminating by intention.
This is a moment in my life where I took a hard pause for a 160 character count text to contest, consider, and critically think.
A SUPPORTED OPINION PAGE: