Black Education / Schools : Bill Cosby Speaks at Howard University (1996)

Discussion in 'Black Education / Schools' started by UBNaturally, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Bill Cosby on College, Student Loans, Education, African American Culture, Business, Films



    In May 2004, after receiving an award at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling—a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court that outlawed school racial segregation in schools—Cosby made public remarks critical of African Americans who put higher priorities on sports, fashion, and "acting hard" than on education, self-respect, and self-improvement, pleading for African-American families to educate their children on the many different aspects of American culture.

    In the "Pound Cake" speech, Cosby, who holds a doctorate in education, asked that African-American parents teach their children better morals at a younger age. Cosby told the Washington Times, "Parenting needs to come to the forefront. If you need help and you don't know how to parent, we want to be able to reach out and touch" (DeBose, Brian). Richard Leiby of The Washington Post reported, "Bill Cosby was anything but politically correct in his remarks Monday night at a Constitution Hall bash commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision."

    Cosby again came under sharp criticism and was again largely unapologetic for his stance when he made similar remarks during a speech in a July 1 meeting commemorating the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. During that speech, he admonished apathetic blacks for not assisting or concerning themselves with the individuals who are involved with crime or have counter-productive aspirations. He further described those who needed attention as blacks who "had forgotten the sacrifices of those in the Civil Rights Movement." The speech was featured in the documentary 500 Years Later, which set the speech to cartoon visuals.

    In 2005, Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson wrote a book entitled Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind? In the book, Dyson wrote that Cosby was overlooking larger social factors that reinforce poverty and associated crime; factors such as deteriorating schools, stagnating wages, dramatic shifts in the economy, offshoring and downsizing, chronic underemployment, and job and capital flight. Dyson suggested Cosby's comments "betray classist, elitist viewpoints rooted in generational warfare."

    Cornel West defended Cosby and his remarks, saying, "he's speaking out of great compassion and trying to get folk to get on the right track, 'cause we've got some brothers and sisters who are not doing the right things, just like in times in our own lives, we don't do the right thing... He is trying to speak honestly and freely and lovingly, and I think that's a very positive thing."

    In a 2008 interview, Cosby mentioned Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Oakland, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Springfield, Massachusetts, among the cities where crime was high and young African-American men were being murdered and jailed in disproportionate numbers. Cosby stood his ground against criticism and affirmed that African-American parents were continuing to fail to inculcate proper standards of moral behavior. Cosby still lectures to black communities (usually at churches) about his frustrations with certain problems prevalent in underprivileged urban communities, such as in illegal drugs; teenage pregnancy; Black Entertainment Television; high-school dropouts; anti-intellectualism; gangsta rap; vulgarity; thievery; offensive clothing; vanity; parental alienation; single-parenting; and failing to live up to the ideals of Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., and African-Americans who preceded Generation X.

    Cosby has also been openly critical of conservative Republican politicians in regards to their views on socioeconomic and racial issues. In a 2013 CNN interview regarding voting rights, Cosby stated "this Republican Party is not the Republican Party of 1863, of Abraham Lincoln, abolitionists and slavery, is not good. I think it's important for us to look at the underlying part of it. What is the value of it? Is it that some people are angry because my people no longer want to work for free?"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Cosby#Socioeconomic_views
     
  2. UBNaturally

    UBNaturally Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    But, six years prior to the Howard speech, there was this interesting one at Notre Dame


    Cosby Sparks Controversy At Notre Dame
    May 24, 1990

    SOUTH BEND, IND. — Bill Cosby, invited to address black graduates at the University of Notre Dame, drew anger and tears when he publicly criticized a football player for failing to attain a 3.0 grade-point average.

    "I was in shock,” said Kenneth B. Durgans, director of minority student affairs. “I understood the underlying message, but he was really off-base.” Cosby`s remarks, made Sunday before about 300 people, mostly black graduates and their guests, went largely unnoticed beyond the room until those present voiced their anger this week.

    A spokesman for Cosby in Los Angeles, David Brokaw, couldn`t immediately provide comment from the entertainer.

    Cosby delivered an upbeat and humorous speech at the university`s commencement later Sunday. The earlier, smaller group had expected a message of challenge and congratulations.

    “He said essentially that if you do not give 100 percent of your effort and attempt to exploit your potential each and every day, that you`re compromising,” said William P. Sexton, vice president of university relations, who attended the meeting. “And when you do that, you get into a habit, and it`s a habit that`s hard to break.

    “When we left there, he said, `I cannot be party to celebrating any result that has not been part of the very best effort to reach excellence.`

    “The unfortunate thing was it became personal. I badly regret some of the folks there found it too tough.”

    Robert Price, a 22-year-old architecture student and member of the campus Black Cultural Arts Council, said at first he thought Cosby was joking.

    “I was saddened by the whole thing, really unimpressed,” Price said.

    “I was utterly insulted. The person sitting next to me was in tears.”

    Durgans and Price said Cosby singled out football tackle Dean Brown.

    “He asked him, `What`s your (grade average)?` and he said `2.5,` “ said Price. “(Cosby) said, `That`s nothing.` “

    During the exchange that followed, Brown began crying, and Cosby brought him onto the auditorium stage, Price said, adding that Brown tried to explain to the actor-comedian his difficulties in balancing studies and football.


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