Searching For Clair Huxtable



Doesn’t the title say it all? Is there anyone over the age of 25 that doesn’t immediately know who we’re talking about? If you’re from the Huxtable generation then you know the influence Clair Huxtable had on your adolescent years. In the 80’s there weren’t any black sitcom moms other than “Mary Jenkins” on “227”. I mean, you had to go back to the 70’s with “Florida Evans” from “Good Times” and “Louise ‘Weezy’ Jefferson” from “The Jeffersons”. No disrespect, but they ain’t no Clair Huxtable. Not only was Clair Huxtable a practicing Lawyer balancing a career and family, she could sing, dance, had a magnetic personality and she projected an eloquent sexuality that commanded respect.

Although there are a (few) exceptions, today’s television seems to project the black woman in a complete opposite light. It tears down, dumbs down and intentionally highlights and promotes drama and messiness. Today the most popular shows involving relationships, if you want to call them that, are “Scandal”, “Being Mary Jane”, “Love & Hip Hop”, “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, and “Basketball Wives”. On each show there’s guaranteed to be a side-chick, an unhappy wife or husband, a cheating man or woman, fighting, cussing and over sensationalized sexual encounters. All of which are glorified and supported. You have to wonder if what’s being presented and served to us has anything to do with the state of relationships and how we engage one another. This type of television programming has done just that – programmed us. We no longer see loving relationships where the man and woman uplift and support one another. Now we have couples exploiting their significant others in all types of scandal and controversy. Besides that, everything about relationships today, at least on TV, appears fake. They’re emotionally charged, demanding and consist mostly of breaking a person down then taking what you feel you are owed or entitled to. There’s not a lot of ‘love’ being shown on television now a days and I have to believe that’s why we don’t see much of it in our regular day-to-day lives. The things we see subconsciously program us and unfortunately these images and behaviors are becoming the standard by which people live their lives and enter relationships.

These new families are being broadcast on television as “just entertainment” today. If you think about what you learned from the families and relationships you grew up watching on TV as “entertainment”, imagine what this generation is learning about relationships from the shows they’re watching? We’re glad we grew up watching Claire Huxtable as a nurturing mother, loving wife, successful lawyer and most importantly a strong black woman. But where are you Clair? Are you at my local Whole Foods store in the produce section bagging your organic vegetables because you’re practicing a Vegan lifestyle? Where are you? Have we unknowingly stood behind you in line at Starbucks while you anxiously ordered your daily Mocha Latte’ on your way to work? Or maybe you smiled and thanked us as we held the door open for you as you walked into a building, unaware of who you actually were? It’s hard to say. Well Clair, if you’re out there, we’re checking for you….heavy!


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