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It’s ‘A Different World’: 10 Times The 90s Sitcom Hit Life Right On The Head  was originally published on

1. ‘A Different World’ Was More Than A Sitcom, It Was A Cultural Compass

‘A Different World’ Was More Than A Sitcom, It Was A Cultural Compass

“A Different World” was obviously one of the most iconic Black sitcoms ever in life. The subject matter was not only relatable, but it was essential for young, Black development. The show allowed us to see ourselves striving for higher education and tackled themes in each episode that hit home in a way many shows can’t compare to these days. Check out all the ways “ADW” hit life directly on the head.

2. Women Being Able To Be Wives, Mothers & Career Driven

Women Being Able To Be Wives, Mothers & Career Driven

Denise was in a debate class where she argued that women can indeed have it all and don’t have to choose between career and being a wife/mother. She stood firm that her own mother, Clair Huxtable handled it all with ease and grace. This is one of the biggest topics for career women and “DW” tackled it in the early 90s!

3. The AIDS Epidemic

Tisha Campbell starred on the series as a student infected with HIV. During a class, “Josie” read an essay she’d written, revealing her diagnosis. The ignorance many of the students bestowed upon her reflected the ignorance in our society. She’d gotten it from her high school boyfriend and “looked” nothing like HIV positive. This revealed that anyone could be affected. Slowly, she gained support and love.

4. Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Whitley gave advice to Gina, who was being abused by her boyfriend. She didn’t know how to leave and Whitley advised her to sacrifice the relationship as opposed to sacrificing herself or her life.

5. Interracial Dating

Interracial Dating

Matt loved himself some Kim and she avoided it for an entire semester, but his affection wore her down and he finally got Kim to commit to him. But she still cared what people thought about their swirl.

6. Racism

“They have no respect. They don’t care about this country at all. All they do it sit on their butt and complain…” says the White college student who tried to spray paint, “N*gger” on the hood on Ron Johnson’s car. The following speech from Dwayne tackled just how America sees us all as “just another n*gger.”

7. Subtle Racism

Subtle Racism

When Whitley wanted to spend her daddy’s money at an expensive jewelry store, she was automatically ignored and the only attention she received was when the woman assumed she was stealing. Stereotypes are very real and “ADW” truly explored the intricacies of subtle racism. Whitley handled it expertly by buying way too much and returning it, stripping the saleswoman of her coveted commission.

8. Rape


Dwayne’s friend told him that women often say no with their mouths, but their bodies are begging for them. He told Dwayne that it’s the man’s job to lead the woman to sex because she doesn’t know what she wants.

9. Caring About Young & Impressionable Black Minds

Kriss Kross appeared on the show, both a part of a youth outreach program Freddie Brooks was a part of. Many people would have written them off as hoodlums, but Dwayne Wayne, Colonel Taylor & Mr. Gaines made sure they received support and education.

10. True Love Will Always Find Its Way Back To You

True Love Will Always Find Its Way Back To You

Dwayne and Whitley’s love affair may have faced several obstacles, but even on her wedding day with Poppa Pope lol Byron, Dwayne still had to have his woman. Love may not be a fairy tale and busting up a wedding isn’t the best thing to do, but following your heart is brave and won’t steer you wrong…hopefully.

11. Nice Guys Finish Last

Nice Guys Finish Last

We all know Dwayne and Whitley ended up together, but remember when Dwayne was in a one-sided relationship with Whitley? He yearned for her and she ignored him, always in search of a better man. Sometimes the best thing for you is right under your nose. Dwayne and Whitley’s relationship was the foundation of the show and perfectly displayed this concept.