The Bill Cosby Show: “I never had a perfect example of a black family.”

“One of the biggest goals of my life that I strive for is to sort of create the perfect family. The Bill Cosby Show (1969) is the most important stimulus when it comes to this goal. When I was younger it always felt like black couples were almost cryptic. It was as if they weren’t a couple, but they actually were. They just weren’t showing that they were really together. So, I never had any perfect examples of what families and family life should look like. The Bill Cosby Show was to me the perfect and positive example of what a black family could look like. The mother of the family, Claire Huxtable was a successful lawyer and her husband Cliff Huxtable was a doctor. For years I had a crush on Claire Huxtable, I compared a lot of my girlfriends to her. Of course that has lowered, but she was the arch image of what a woman should be to me; full of character and very intelligent. Bill Cosby on the other hand showed me what a father should be like; caring, funny and a person who understand his kids.” – Rio

“Do you feel that you achieved that goal?” – Me

“Yes, for at least 75% of it. I have a lovely family and two kids. We have lived together for a long while, but I think some family norms and values have changed in general in comparison to 30 years ago. Anyway, I still got some time left to accomplish the other 25%.” – Rio

Photo and story by Feargal Agard