Bill Cosby's 'Controversial' Advice for Black Men Applies to Everyone

On CNN's Newsroom Saturday night, host Don Lemon asked Bill Cosby to comment on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and to reflect on today’s African American culture.

He had some good advice in particular for black men: Stay in school and then raise your kids. But really, that’s just plain old good advice for anyone, isn’t it?

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I think it has to come from the universities ... I think, women, strongly because when you see 70 percent, in research, that says they are the leaders of the household, what we need is for people to realize I want to raise my kid. I want to go back and get my three kids. I want to take on that responsibility. I want to love my children.

He added that he wants to see more black dads spending time with their children and shared a scene from the recent Essence Festival, where he saw “a black male with his child on the shoulders and holding.”

As for education, Cosby doesn’t care if it’s a fancy university with a big name or the local community college -- he just wants kids from the projects to go. Even the dropouts. “Okay, you backed up and didn’t do well. You quit school but now you find you need that high school credential. Go to the community college.”

When Lemon asked him why it was so hard for some people to get the message that they are capable of bettering themselves, of getting educated, and choosing to be an involved dad, he said he thinks it’s embarrassment.  

He said that when he was younger, he wasn’t too keen on the idea of personal responsibility. “At age 19 and a half, I knew I didn’t want to do certain things. It is not what they weren’t doing to me, it’s what I wasn’t doing. It’s a very simple thing.”

Cosby knows what he’s talking about -- he was a poor black kid from the other side of the tracks. He said, “... the reason why I’m giving you this information is because I was living in the projects. I was not taking care of myself in terms of managing my education, and once the door opened and I saw quote, unquote, the light, I started to become very successful.”

Do you think this is good advice for black men?


Image via Penn State/Flickr

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