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Black History

The Future of Black TV: Demise of the Black Man & Rise of the Black Woman




By Joshua D. Copeland

As we enter a new era of diversity on television, we wonder if the future of Black TV will be as positive an influence as the older era?

For starters, there is a chance that the future may be a grim one.  Ebony Magazine’s recent cover capturing the fall of Bill Cosby was more detrimental to the Black community than most of us realize…

People are quick to talk about how much of a scum Cosby is due to his sex scandal, but they don’t understand how influential Cosby and his shows were to the Black community.  And for some reason, many people forget that they grew up on the Cosby show.

The Bill Cosby show was one of the most prominent shows to hit television because it showed a positive image of the  Black family – a well functioning, healthy, moralistic Black family that operated off of family values.  The Cosby show was one of the prime inspirations that Black families looked up to.

But now that Cosby’s name has been dragged through the mud, its questionable whether or not his legacy lives on.  The death of Cosby means the death of an era.

At the same time, the future is looking very bright.  Especially for Black women.  Viola Davis just made history as the first African-American woman to win an Emmy.  And while Whoopi Goldberg may disagree with Davis’ acceptance speech, she’s right: there is much opportunity, if there hasn’t always been.

What’s interesting is how the old era seems to have ended with the demise of Bill Cosby, while the new era is made prominent with the rise of Viola Davis, as well as Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union and other talented, Black actresses.  Is it a coincidence that the Black man’s career ends  while the Black woman’s flourishes?  Will this be the new, recurring theme of Black television?

Share your thoughts.


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