Black history television moment: Anniversary of farewell episode of “The Cosby Show”

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By: Ashley Tillery 

“The Cosby Show” was the hit television sitcom that showed a prominent, well-respected African American family in an upper middle-class environment. The show eliminated harsh stereotypes about the African American community.

Airing on September 20, 1984, “The Cosby Show” premiered on NBC.

The show, which was centered around the Huxtable family of Brooklyn, New York, was created by Ed Weinberger, Michael Lesson and Bill Cosby.

Cosby, aka Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, was the funny father we all grew to love. Houston native Phylicia Rashad played saucy “get-you-together-real-quick” mother Claire and the children were played by Sabrina Le Beauf (Sandra), Lisa Bonet (breakout fashionista Denise), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (teen hearthrob Theo), Tempestt Bledsoe (boy-crazy Vanessa) and Keisha Knight Pulliam (adorable baby siser Rudy.) In the latter years, actors Geoffrey Owens, Joseph C. Phillips, Raven Symone, and Erika Alexander joined the cast in various roles.

[Take a look at one of our favorite Huxtable family moments]

Because of their plot and overall storyline, ‘The Cosby Show’ had the privilege of having their first five seasons rated as the number one show on television. The show ran for a total of eight seasons and was positioned in the “Top 20 Greatest Television Show of All Time” chart.

While on air, “The Cosby Show” won six Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, five NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody Award, and 26 People’s Choice Awards. After eight seasons and 202 episodes, on April 30, 1992, The Huxtable family bid their final farewells to the loyal audience.
Thanks to Cosby and Debbie Allen, a spin-off show, “A Different World,” which was initially centered around the character “Denise” put the HBCU college experience in households around America.

Thank you Bill Cosby and others that were involved in “The Cosby Show!” Thank you for creating and starring in a show that continues to show, thanks to re-runs and syndication, African Americans in a positive light and allowing us to see greatness.

And speaking of greatness, check out footage of when the elegant Mrs. Rashad recently visited Yates High School in her hometown. Yes, the Queen came home!

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