I’m actually sporting a Hillman College sweatshirt as I write this. And just inches away from my laptop are my retro flip-up glasses—a carbon copy of the ones that Dwayne Wayne wore in the first few seasons of A Different World. In my supply desk is my colorful Whitley Gilbert face mask, which includes the word “Bougie” scrawled in pink. And if you were to take a look at my recent Internet browsing history, you’d see that old episodes of the classic sitcom account for roughly 80 percent of that list.
I know, I know. It's a lot. But there are valid reasons why my nostalgic heart is so taken with this '90s classic. One of them is the undeniable, irrefutable fact that A Different World is the best ‘90s show of all time. Hands down.
For those who aren’t familiar with the series, A Different World is a Cosby Show spin-off that follows a group of students and faculty at the fictional, historically Black Hillman College (AKA Cliff and Clair Huxtable’s alma mater). While the show initially centers on Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet) as a new Hillman student, the series got revamped after its first season, introducing a diverse group of Black coeds as they navigate the ups and downs of college life.
Now, I’ve never actually attended a historically Black college, but whenever I watch A Different World (currently on my fourth binge, BTW), I feel like a part of that community. Seeing talented Black students strive to make the world a better place had a profound impact on my own life—and judging by all the fan pages that are out there, it looks like I’m not the only one.