Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a wife and mom…not just any wife & mom. I wanted to be just like Clair Huxtable.
Actress. Singer. Stage Director – Phylicia Rashad has been bringing characters to life in our homes and on stage for decades. Her character, Clair Huxtable, left a lasting impression on me as a little girl. She was my favorite!
As I sat glued to my tv each Thursday, I watched a woman of color with a happy, loving family, beautiful home (with stairs – I grew up in a 1-story home) and a career; and I wanted that someday too. But it wasn’t just what she had that inspired me. It was who she was.
- Clair displayed wisdom & wit, character and charm, intelligence and integrity.
- She loved her family fiercely but wasn’t afraid to offer some tough love when needed or give them “the look” from across a room.
- She commanded respect while still being kind.
- She was strong. Come on! You have to be a strong woman to be a wife, parent 5 children and have your own career.
- She was successful. She didn’t have a job. She had a career as a lawyer. (For a long time, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer too. I’m sure it was because of Clair.)
- She stood up for what she believed in and let her voice be heard.
During those 30 minutes each week, dreams were planted in my little girl heart.
Although Clair was a fictional character, I’ve discovered, she was very similar to Rashad herself.
Along with her career in acting, she is also is highly respected in the academic world, holding over 10 honorary doctorate degrees. In 2004 she won a Best Actress Tony Award for Raisin in the Sun. She is a mother, teacher, philanthropist, activist and champion for African American culture.
She continues to act, most recently in season 3 of “This Is Us” and Disney’s “Soul”.