Tobi Haslett

All articles by this author

The Specter of Cosbyism

The Specter of Cosbyism

This flood of black faces on screens both big and small is enough to summon the ghost of Hansberry, peddling her sanguine ’50s vision—but A Raisin in the Sun is a play about the dignified underclass, the downtrodden-but-upright proletariat, whereas Dear White People and Black-ish don’t dare to gesture—however idly—at the poor. These days, even the upright cannot be downtrodden, so the face of blackness thrust forth by both the TV series and the film is well-spoken, well-heeled, white collar.

The Specter of Cosbyism

The Specter of Cosbyism

This flood of black faces on screens both big and small is enough to summon the ghost of Hansberry, peddling her sanguine ’50s vision—but A Raisin in the Sun is a play about the dignified underclass, the downtrodden-but-upright proletariat, whereas Dear White People and Black-ish don’t dare to gesture—however idly—at the poor. These days, even the upright cannot be downtrodden, so the face of blackness thrust forth by both the TV series and the film is well-spoken, well-heeled, white collar.