Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Continuing the Cosby Blackness Debate

Towards the end of my last post, I suggested that the Cosby show was black for several reasons. The obvious answer here being because they are “black,” right? No. The blackness of the Cosby far surpasses the limitations of complexion and hue. Let me explain. Blackness has often been defined in terms of the African American cultural experience. And, there are definitely elements of this African American home grown blackness seen on the show, more specifically the black folk tradition. This tradition includes orality (signifying, oral-storytelling, etc.), music, and dance—all popular modes of black expressivity which are still practiced today. However, Cosby goes one step further, signifying on diasporic forms of blackness, carrying us to the shores of African and beyond. The African Diaspora is the scattering of people from Africa and the sowing of their cultures globally. Thus, in drawing on Latin Caribbean, and African cultural traditions, the Cosby show posits blackness as something expansive, universal even.
"African Diaspora, (di.ās’.por.ä). noun. The scattering of people from Africa and the sowing of their cultures globally."
It is with this concept of blackness, one which combines the black folk and African Diasporic traditions, do I hope to demonstrate how the Cosby show is indeed “black enough?”

Until next time,


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