Why are black Americans so hell-bent on making sure Bill Cosby’s “legacy” is intact? Aren’t there other black father figures that we can celebrate as much as we champion for Bill Cosby’s? Yes, there are.
There are a lot of people still doing the most to defend Bill Cosby. They illogically blame it on white media, often comparing Bill Cosby’s treatment with Subway’s Jared Fogle. (One is a TV spokesperson headed to jail while the other is a famed TV dad who isn’t.) They conjure up conspiracy theories, calling it an attack on black manhood. They even blame black media often referencing the crab in the barrels mentality. Bill Cosby himself even reprimanded black media, as though he is exempt from any scrutiny from black media. In many ways, he has created a barrier, protecting himself from any claim of fault. His insurmountable charitable contributions and his fabricated picture perfect image defined what it means to be a “respectable” black man, a la his “Pound Cake Speech.” If for some reason, you truly believe Bill Cosby didn’t rape these women, you have to admit he had inappropriate relationships with them. This alone is enough to call bull on Bill Cosby’s “legacy.”
Let’s focus on other TV dad’s that are beyond respectability politics. And let’s not confuse Bill Cosby’s “legacy” with Dr. Cliff Huxtable’s. Here are 10 other black father figures we should celebrate.
10. Frank Mitchell
Boxed high-top, corny dad who’s doing his best to raise his daughter after losing her mother.
9. Flex Washington
Show: One on One
Ladies man trying to reconcile his lifestyle with being a 24/7 single dad to a teenage daughter. (Man I miss UPN!)
8. Ray Campbell
Show: Sister, Sister
The Modern Family dad, before Modern Family ever was, who co-parents his adopted biracial daughter and her newly-found twin sister.
7. Carl Winslow
Show: Family Matters
The dad who was the next-door geek’s guinea pig for experiments.
Show: Everybody Hates Chris
The cheap, working-class dad who loved his children and had coupons and receipts to prove it.
5. Michael Kyle
Show: My Wife & Kids
The very extra dad who always taught his children lessons through extravagant gestures and schemes.
4. George Jefferson
Show: The Jeffersons
Many thought that Bill Cosby’s character Dr. Cliff Huxtable was the first successful black father on TV. Lies! This man right here was.
3. Bernie Mac
Show: The Bernie Mac Show
The old school uncle/daddy raising new school children.
2. James Evans
Show: Good Times
Black America’s first daddy.
1. Phillip Banks
Show: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The high-class daddy who’s willing to be more than an uncle to his fatherless nephew.