Dr. Heathcliff 'Cliff' Huxtable: Once you sit down there will you be able to get back up?
Aunt Gramtee: Let's find out.
[sits on the couch and gets up]
Aunt Gramtee: Now, will that close your mouth?
Olivia Kendall: But God made all the animals so I can see them at the zoo.
Denise Huxtable Kendall: Well God also made me your stepmother and put me in charge and I say you're going to church.
Aunt Gramtee: Well this is a pleasant way to wake up... unless I'm looking at an angel in Heaven.
Olivia Kendall: No, it's me, Olivia.
Aunt Gramtee: Rudy, I hear your performance at school is slipping. Now you straighten up and fly right.
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.
Aunt Gramtee: During slavery, did you know that it was illegal to teach slaves how to read?
Rudy Huxtable: It was illegal to learn to read?
Aunt Gramtee: Oh yes.
Denise Huxtable Kendall: Oh, Gramtee, you were a school teacher, weren't you?
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.