Black History Month 2022

'bill cosby' - 4 results

The Cosby Show Premiered



New York, New York - The Cosby Show first aired on NBC, at 8:00 p.m. EST. It showed the middle-class aspirations of Black Americans.

The format of the show was a situation comedy (or sitcom). It was an immediate hit. While NBC lagged behind ABC and NBC in viewers, The Cosby Show was a ratings powerhouse.

Dr. William H. Cosby, who created and starred in the show, wanted to present Black Americans in a good light. Black Americans were presented as well-adjusted and well-off.

Cosby's portrayal of Black Americans was mere fantasy, or wish-fulfillment. Whites used this image to justify the end of affirmative action. A TV show gave whites the excuse to deny Black Americans were suffering under their oppression.

The show ended the day after the Rodney King riots began.

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Cosby Filming


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Cosby Show Ended



New York, New York - The Cosby Show ended after the 8th season. It ran from 1984-1992. The ground-breaking Black Americans cast was headed by Bill Cosby. The Cosby Show introduced affluence and middle-class aspirations to audiences across America.

In the 1970s, television (TV) showed Black Americans with modest lives. The stories showed the daily financial struggles of Black Americans. This was usually done in a comedic manner (Sanford and Son, Good Times, What's Happening). The Cosby Show represented a hard shift from the dynamic of economic struggles to one of economic affluence.

First, was The Jeffersons (1975-1985). It showed a solidly middle-class Black American family. The husband was self-made, with modest schooling. His hard work made his family upwardly mobile. He owned a retail service business. His wife stayed home. They employed a Black American maid.

The Cosby Show presented Black Americans as high-earning, educated, professionals. The father, Cosby, was a doctor. The mother, Claire, was a lawyer. They owned a valuable home in a white neighborhood.

It was part of a wave of TV shows that flaunted wealth. Dallas (1978-1991), Dyansty (1981-1989), and Falcon Crest (1981-1990) were the white versions of this era.

During its time, The Cosby Show was a ratings powerhouse. It allowed NBC to create an entire night of highly rated television (TV) shows. From Cosby, white shows such as Cheers, Family Ties, Night Court, Seinfeld, and Frasier enjoyed tremendous success.

Before The Cosby Show, NBC did not have very many successful shows on Thursday night. For this reason, many say Cosby saved NBC's prime-time lineup.

Some criticized The Cosby Show for not showing Black American life properly. Cosby made no mention of the War on Drugs, AIDS, and street crime. These were raging issues during its run. The show ignored issues of poverty, police brutality, housing, and job discrimination.

Lisa Bonet got pregnant, while a part of the cast. She was unwed. It was an opportunity to show single motherhood. Instead, Lisa Bonet was fired from the cast and the issue was dropped.

Despite the criticisms, The Cosby Show gave Black Americans a positive and uplifting image. Its impact shaped future TV shows that had Black Americans, for decades.


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New York Magazine Covers Cosby Accusers



New York, New York - New York Magazine published a cover with dozens of women who accused Bill Cosby. The women had no evidence, no one to back up their stories, but had bad things to say about Bill Cosby.

This cover story was an attempt to attack the most prominent and successful Black American entertainer in the country. Movements such as TimesUp, and MeToo sought to present Cosby as the Black American rapist. This was similiar to Jack Johnson, 100 years earlier. It drew parallels to Michael Jackson, 10 years earlier.

The constant media pressure got Cosby convicted of a crime, against a white woman. The crime never existed. Cosby was in prison for almost three (3) years. Finally, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court cleared him of all charges.

When the hysteria over Bill Cosby began, he was near 80, almost blind, and had not been in the public spotlight for years. Some speculate this was all a distraction from white killers of unarmed Black Americans.

Source:

Vanity Fair New York Magazine Cosby Accusers

ABC News Cosby Target Timeline

NBC News New York Magazine Cosby Accusers


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Bill Cosby Cleared of Crimes



Collegeville, Pennsylvania - Bill Cosby was freed from state prison in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled earlier that day, to end his prison term.

On April 26, 2018, Cosby was accused, tried, and convicted of aggravated indecent assault. All of the testimony was from white women. There was no physical evidence. No one backed any of their claims.

On September 25, 2018, Judge Steven O'Neill sent Cosby to jail for three (3) to ten (10) years. Cosby appealed the case and it was denied in the appeals court. It went to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, to be heard in 2021.

On June 30, 2021, the state Supreme Court made the decision that follows. 'As a practical matter, the moment that Cosby was charged criminally, he was harmed: all that he had forfeited earlier, and the consequences of that forfeiture in the civil case, were for naught,'

Cosby spent almost 3 years in prison on a false charge.


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