I have never seen an episode of The Cosby Show.
In Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum’s Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria she discusses how her college-age students identify themselves. The students are given a set amount of time to write down personal descriptors. The long-and-short of it is that students of color almost always write down a race descriptor while white students almost never do.
One of the first things we do when we see people is decide if they are like or different. Children are especially good at this. They separate friends into boys and girls, short and tall, old and young, able bodied and not, and skin like mine or not like mine. This is not a bad thing. The bad part comes when they judge based on these things. But I digress, my hope in this series that I am calling “Small Pieces of Privilege” is to examine simple privileges I have in my life.
So I return to the fact that I have never seen The Cosby Show, you know why? At least in part because I didn’t need it. There were tons of shows on TV with families that looked like (prettier) versions of mine. There were a million little white girls to choose from. To the point that there were ones with my same haircut. I didn’t watch a show about a Black family because there were lots of White families to chose from.