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Read an oral history of A Different World

  • "In the 34 years since its debut, A Different World has become one of television’s most impactful shows, inspiring everything from dissertations and lectures to Halloween costumes and social media fan accounts—all while influencing countless young people to attend college, specifically HBCUs," Vanity Fair's Leah Faye Cooper writes in introducing her oral history of 1987-1993 college-set spinoff of The Cosby Show. "Along with The Cosby Show, it laid the groundwork for shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Family Matters, and Living Single—itself created by (A Different World intern writer Yvette Lee) Bowser—and featured numerous Black actors long before they were famous, including Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Keenen Ivory Wayans. When actor and producer Lena Waithe first joined Instagram in 2011, her handle was @hillmangrad. Today, Hillman Grad is the name of her production company. That A Different World was never nominated for a Golden Globe and never won an Emmy is both unsettling and indicative of how Black shows rarely receive the praise they deserve."

    TOPICS: A Different World, Retro TV