Bill Cosby

I recall interviewing a young woman from Irmo some years back who had recently started her modeling career. Soon she would be off to New York to take acting lessons, etc. I got a note from her a few months after the piece ran that she'd landed a non-speaking part on The Cosby Show. She would be a young pregnant woman in Cliff Huxtable's waiting room reading a magazine.  I tuned in and, sure enough, there she was.

I have no idea if Bill Cosby is guilty of what he's accused of. Maybe I would be less circumspect if I didn't appreciate him so much. I think he's contributed a great deal to how we think about the world and race and class. Positive contributions. He put a lot of young black faces on television and probably made a good many of them wealthy. Fat Albert is the creation of a funny, smart, intuitive and generous man, a doctor of education. He introduced much of the world to the beautiful art of Varnette Honeywood by displaying it on his shows.  I think the tremendous donation to the Smithsonian Institution from him and his wife is truly remarkable. It is so hard for me to fathom that the same man who did all of these things (and more) was also a demon. If it is somehow proven true, I will be terribly, terribly disappointed and sad.


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