The hit television sitcom “The Cosby Show” and its spin-off “A Different World” almost surely helped increase the amount of students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

From the debut of “The Cosby Show in 1984 until the season finale of “A Different World” in 1993 black colleges attendance grew by 24 percent, according to ‘hip-hop president’ Dr. Walter Kimbrough. (44 percent better than all of higher education)

“There is no doubt that popular culture can influence growth,” said Kimbrough, the 7th president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Perhaps Hip-Hop Prez is right.

A Different World became the first situation comedy to address the looming of the Persian Gulf War in August 1990, when Saddam Hussein of Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait, and The Cosby Show stayed on the top of Nielsen ratings for five consecutive seasons.

Perhaps it is practical to argue that these two beloved sitcoms based on family life, in an African-American perspective, changed everything for future television sitcoms, and American culture and beliefs on the black family.

But what impact does the black family-education themed films like “Drumline,” starring actor Nick Cannon, who plays a young drummer from New York, and “Stomp the Yard,” featuring actress Meagan Good (and others), and depicts the somewhat fictional life of Black Greek Lettered Organizations have on today’s HBCU students?

Here is what some students say:


Tommy Meade Jr. is HBCU Buzzs Editor-in-chief. Follow him on Twitter.

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