Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rest in Peace Grandma Huxtable

Folks the world over, from 1984-1992, tuned in on, I believe, Thursday nights to watch The Cosby Show. For the first six years of the show, I am fairly certain that I didn't miss an episode. The anniversary episode where my favorites. In fact, in season two, the entire clan gets together to lip synch a song to Grandpa and Grandpa Huxtable: Ray Charles' Night Time.

When that episode aired I laughed so hard I literally fell off the ottoman in our family room. I was living on Agnes Street in Kansas City, MO. When Rudy took the stage, I seriously had never seen anything so damn hilarious in my entire life. Of course, I was only eight at the time, but still, that shiz was hilarious. Though I was fairly young, I can see myself in my head absolutely clearly. That is how much of an impact that The Cosby Show had on my young life.

For those very formative years of my life, from age seven to 14, the Cosby Show was a staple of my ocular consumption. The positive and non-gangsta-glorification depiction of a successful black family was, at a time of the emergence and mass consumption of West Coast gangster rap and all of its accompanying media spawn, a welcome depiction of a different type of black experience. I wanted to be a part of the Huxtable family. I wanted to bash Too Short in the head (and, as Murphy's Law would have it...a few years little sister ended up dating Too Short for a time...sigh Sigh SIGH!).

Today, I heard the sad news that Clarice Taylor aka Anna Huxtable, the woman that played Bill Cosby's mother, passed away from heart failure at the age of 93. This brilliant woman had a career that took her from Broadway to Sesame Street. She was a familiar, graceful and brilliant figure in the lives of black Americans from the 60s until her death. Her contributions to the education of young black children have been invaluable. At 93, she has lived a full life surrounded by success and love, but her loss is a generational loss. She will be dearly missed.

Thank you Miss Clarice for giving of yourself and loving your community enough to defy stereotypes. You have passed on but you achieved immortality before you left. Much love to you Mrs. Huxtable. Sleep well.

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