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The Beautiful Phylicia Rashad 

IDEA Viewpoint

Ghelawdewos Araia, Ph.D

December 2, 2010

Phylicia Rashad was with Tavis Smiley on November 2, 2010, and she still looks beautiful as when she was acting during the Cosby Show (1984-1992). Like millions of Americans, I used to enjoy the acclaimed show in prime time NBC, a fun-cum-educational TV entertainment in which the gifted grand actor Cosby (Dr. Huxtable) and the many other terrific actors captivated a huge audience. But I was exceptionally attracted to the beauty, elegance, and voluptuous charisma of Phylicia as Ms. Huxtable, a character of a successful attorney and a mom, in the show. However, I must confess that I just explored the brilliance of Phylicia when she appeared on the Tavis Smiley Show. Indeed, I explored a beautiful mind behind a beautiful forehead.

During the interview so many broad ranging in scope and timely issues were raised and Phylicia Rashad was lucid, impeccable, and cogent in her responses, but her most mesmerizing reactions were entertained in the following Q & As:

Tavis: I don�t think I�ve ever had a conversation with you, and I am not even sure you�re aware of this and may be you are, may be it is deliberate, but I have never had a conversation with you on TV or radio where Howard university � you are a proud Bison, you are a proud graduate of Howard, and every time I talk to you, that comes up.

I raise it now because we�re living in a world now where there is this growing sentiment that we don�t need Black colleges or women�s studies or these, what some people call segregated studies.

I raise that with because the world got to know you as this wonderful matriarch on �The Cosby Show,� a show that was based in a black household but that everybody could appreciate, never mind color, race, origin. Everybody appreciated that show, but you come from a black institution. Can you juxtapose those two things for me?

Rashad: Why don�t we need them? Why wouldn�t we need women�s studies? We still have women. Why wouldn�t we need this historic institution that has given us some of the most incredible American people? Why we wouldn�t need it? Why wouldn�t we need all these institutions? Why wouldn�t we need it? Why don�t we need it? Who said that? They�d better not say it to me. (Laughter)

Tavis: Watch Claire Huxtable get crunk.

Rashad: Please. (Laughter) Don�t come up here with that nonsense. Yes, we do. One of the most disturbing things that I have heard most recently is that the Schomburg Library in New York City, which is located in Harlem, which is one of the most complete repositories of literature written by and concerning African American people is to be dismantled, and that those works are going to be placed in various libraries around the city. Do you know what that means?

Tavis: Now, the New York Public Library, as you know, has been pushing back on that of late. I saw a story just the other day where they�ve said, of late, that that�s not the case. I don�t know, I�m not in New York, but I have been reading this (unintelligible).

Rashad: Why would such a thing even come up?

Tavis: Even be considered, I got your point.

Rashad: I don�t accept � it�s just you�re moving it back to when? You are moving it back until when? Eight years, 10 years? Why would you even consider such a thing? Where does that consideration come from? What are you thinking? Don�t you know that this is a very significant part of American history? Don�t you know? What are you talking about? That is unpatriotic. I won�t have it.  

Phylicia is a beautiful woman with beautiful and grand ideas that can serve well the African-American community in particular and the larger American society in general. She is an exemplar par excellence and a social teacher. I am hopeful that her message is effectively conveyed to the concerned, the activist, the patriotic, and most importantly to the millions of teachers across the board in the United States and the millions of professors and scholars affiliated to thousands of higher institutions of learning. They must give credit to Phylicia�s bold stance on African-American cultural preservation, and they must do their part in preserving the Schomburg Center for Black Culture.

Note: The Institute of Development and Education for Africa (IDEA), Inc. likes to extend its gratitude to the Tavis Smiley Show for facilitating a platform to Phylicia Rashad and for reaching millions of watchers wherever they may be.

All Rights Reserved. Copyright � IDEA, Inc. 2010