A Different World is arguably one the most culturally impactful series of the eighties. The series celebrated intelligent, young and educated Black students.
A group of the show’s cast members including Jasmine Guy, Kadeem Hardison, Darryl Bell, and Cree Summer recently visited Southwestern Christian College in Texas. Discussing the show’s impact and the unique experiences of black people across the country, Guy shared, “I loved the diversity of the cast. Usually, actors are the Black person on a show [as in there’s only one type of black person] and it’s very hard to represent everything about Black people in one person. We had different classes, different colorings, different backgrounds, different aspirations and that’s one thing I loved about A Different World. It showed the true spirit about what being Black is, and that it is diverse within itself.” Darryl Bell went on to comment on the show’s success adding, “No matter what topic was discussed, it wasn’t a monolithic response; it was something that was always challenging and relevant, it was important and we managed to be funny while we did it! That’s why I think it lasted so long and stayed evergreen.”
While at the university, the cast surprised the audience by presenting a $100,000 cheque to the school. The cheque will go towards a scholarship fund and was a part of Ford’s Ultimate Homecoming Takeover initiative, an effort launched with the intent to improve programs of study at historically Black colleges and universities provide Black students with opportunities to further their education.