“This is the golden moment, honey, for us to come together and stop the madness.”
Phylicia Rashad, 72, aka Mother of the Black Community, well noted for her iconic role as Clair Huxtable from the ‘80s sitcom The Cosby Show, A Raisin in the Sun, Creed, In My Feelings and more recently sci-fi horror, Black Box, finding new depths in her career talks with @rebeljunemarie as she covers the latest issue of American women’s magazine Bustle.
In the chat, the Tony award winning star talks playing Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, black motherhood, Bill Cosby’s sexual allegations and much more.
On Claire raising her kids on ‘80s sitcom The Cosby Show where for eight seasons, Rashad played Clair — wife, attorney, mother of five, and head of household —
“I loved those years,” says Rashad of her time on the show. “I was thinking about it just yesterday morning. It was such a creative time, and a collaborative time. It was a high, high time. It was a great time. And it gave people in the world a lot.”
On Racial Profiling And Motherhood on The Cosby Show:
“I didn’t think about my children being Black children; I think of my children being children,” Rashad continues, referring to her son, William Lancelot Bowles III, who was 10 years old when she was first cast on The Cosby Show, and her daughter, actor Condola Rashad. “The ethnicity is obvious — it’s in our food, it’s in the music we listen to, it’s in the books we read, it’s in the way we live, it’s in the company we keep and the dances that we do. I don’t have to make a conscious point about it, because I know who I am.” she adds.
On Acting Talent and Skills:
Rashad credits her own mother, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet Vivian Ayers Allen. “My mother taught me many, many things. And one of the things my mother would teach us as children is that inner reality creates the outer form,” says Rashad filled with pride at the thought of her mother, Vivian Allen who raised Rashad, sister Debbie Allen (the actor, dancer, and director), and brothers Tex Allen (a musician) and Hugh Allen (a real estate banker) in Houston, Texas with her late husband, Andrew Arthur Allen, a dental surgeon.
On What She Might Tell People Who Feel They Can No Longer Watch The Cosby Show:
“I don’t know why anybody would feel that way,” Rashad says, her tenor plain. “I just don’t accept what somebody says because they say it, and they say it in a loud voice. The internet has given a lot of anonymous people a very loud voice. And this, too, has happened before.”
“Zora Neale Hurston died a pauper,” Rashad says, sharpening her tone. “And do you know why?”
“Oh, you should do a little research on that,” Rashad says, raising her eyebrows at me. “You should go back and look at some charges that were brought up against her that didn’t make any sense. And look at what happened when the judge had thrown out the case, but it had gone through [Black magazines], through this step and the other, and her books were taken off the shelf.”
“And so I know what I know, and I just stay with what I know,” Rashad says. “And it will happen in time, that this will come around another way, as it often does. And then people say, ‘Oh.”