The art of story telling is not a foreign concept to the African-American culture. For centuries, through stories and through song, that is how we related to each other and got through some of the most trying times of our history. Stories connected us.
African-American men and women in film and on television have a history of being portrayed in a certain light. The opportunities for us a black people were the unassuming roles, while others shown in the spotlight of Hollywood. During the 1980s Bill Cosby thought it important to change Hollywood’s norm, and portray for the public at large that educated black high-middle class nuclear families did exist. The Cosby Show television series broke records and barriers and quickly became a beacon of hope for black families everywhere. For many black households, the Huxtables were a breath of fresh air. From the Cosby Show stemmed a six season spin off series, (and my favorite show) A Different World, which shed light on the college experience of black men and women set at an HBCU known as “Hillman College”. There is no question that during his career, Bill Cosby was a pioneer in his field. His stories and plot lines through the shows that he created are still referenced in our households today.
However, with great acclaim, can come great disappointment. Bill Cosby has been under the radar for a while now, after being accused of alleged sexual assault claims by numerous women. This news I think shook the African-American community because our idea of Mr. Cosby and what he created for “us” was held in high regard. The latest issue of Ebony Magazine has been stirring up a lot of controversy because of its cover; it depicts the cast of The Cosby Show through shattered glass. Today on the Wendy Williams Show, the magazine’s editor Kierna Mayo talked about the conversations that were happening on social media and she shared that the publication was getting mixed reviews about the cover. One of the strongest points that Mayo shared during her interview was that,
“We [Ebony Magazine] didn’t create the fracture. The fracture already existed.”
Ebony Magazine has been around since the 1940s and the publication has been known for content that will create conversation.
At this point what I think it will be important for us to realize is that Bill Cosby is not exempt from error, he’s human. Our perspective of him may be altered because of these allegations, but should that take away from the art that he created? This is a question that we must to weigh in our own hearts and spirits.
As it pertains to Ebony Magazine, I salute the publication because although the cover was risky, I think it is was needed.
The greatest lesson that I took about from it was that we should not be so quick to put our trust in man. People will disappoint us, but the Lord NEVER will.