6x26 The Storyteller
First Aired: May. 03, 1990 on NBC
Summary: When Gramtee, Cliff's great aunt, visits, everyone is excited about celebrating her 98th birthday. She ends up telling embarrassing stories about Cliff from when he was little, and captivates the children's attention with stories of relatives who were in slavery. Meanwhile, Olivia doesn't…
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Aunt Gramtee: Let's find out. [sits on the couch and gets up] Now, will that close your mouth?
Aunt Gramtee: Yes, I taught grades 1 through 8 in one room.
Rudy Huxtable: [shocked] One room?
Aunt Gramtee: That's right. Many of the children had to walk 12 miles to and from school. And when they went home, they had to work their farms until the sun went down.
Denise Huxtable Kendall: It was so much harder to get an education back then.
Aunt Gramtee: You know, during slavery in some states, it was illegal to teach a slave to read.
Rudy Huxtable: Illegal to learn how to read?
Aunt Gramtee: Now your great-great-great aunt Lucinda grew up in slavery. But she was determined to learn to read. She used to play with the owner's daughters, the Hawthorne girls. They had tutors. The Hawthorne girls were beginning to feel bad because they were learning how to read and Lucinda couldn't. So after their class they would sneak her down to the creek and teach Lucinda everything they had learned.
Rudy Huxtable: Could aunt Lucinda have gotten in trouble?
Aunt Gramtee: Oh, yes. She could have been severely punished. But that didn't scare her. She was determined to learn to read. And after slavery she became a teacher.
Denise Huxtable Kendall: Is that what inspired you to become a teacher?
Aunt Gramtee: I guess we could say she was an inspiration.
Rudy Huxtable: Yes ma'am.
Aunt Gramtee: [Theo laughs] Theo...
Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable: Gramtee! I'm doing my best. But I have a learning disability.
Aunt Gramtee: Well you STILL have to work hard.
Theodore 'Theo' Huxtable: Yes ma'am.