When I was a young girl, my family and I would all cram around the television set to watch The Cosby Show every Thursday evening. The Cosby show was a television sitcom about an upper middle-class African American family living in Brooklyn, New York. On each episode, the main character Heathcliff Huxtable (played by Bill Cosby) who was a doctor, and his wife Clair (a lawyer), taught their children a lesson or moral of some sort with comic relief. The Cosby Show influenced my family and me, because it showed America what a typical family was like. When the show came out in the eighties, it was a big hit because it was one of the first shows to view African Americans in a positive light. As a child, I grew up in a suburban neighborhood. My mother and my father were married with good jobs. When people found out where my family lived, they would look at us differently, I guess because a lot of people were not use to seeing African Americans living in the suburbs, even in the mid-nineties. My family and I could relate to The Cosby Show because we weren't the stereotypical African American family. I think that the show made people realize that in a way we are all the same.
There were other shows on television that captured the love that African Americans had for their family members such as The Jefferson's or Good Times, however both sitcoms portrayed African Americans in stereotypical roles. The show Good Times especially was stereotypical, because the show portrayed the family as poor and uneducated. The Cosby Show broke many stereotypes around the African American community, and made many African Americans realize that they can have successful careers, and that being a part of the upper-middle class doesn't make you any less "African American," despite what critics of the show were saying. One critic said that "The Cosby Show was Leave it to Beaver, in blackface.".