Bill Cosby Talks To Don Lemon About Black Fathers, “No-groes” And Improving The Black Community

September 16, 2013  |  

It was July when CNN anchor Don Lemon was scolded by many black folks in the media and on social media for his Five Ways To Improve The Black Community that in some ways he felt would have an impact on the racism we face. To be “scolded” might be an understatement though, as he was literally called everything but a child of God. But Lemon stood by his list of changes and felt that they were common sense. Either way though, his points fell on many deaf and angry ears.

So maybe that’s why he decided to interview Bill Cosby this past weekend as many were remembering the infamous Birmingham Church bombing that killed four little girls now that 50 years has passed. The conversation wasn’t really much about that event though, but about the state of the black community now, which is something Bill Cosby has been very vocal about in the past few years. In his sit-down with Lemon, Cosby talked about everything from the imprisonment of our young men, fathers stepping up to the plate, the importance of education, and why he thinks some black people get so riled up when famous folks try to suggest ways to fix the community–he calls them “No-groes”:

His thoughts on black fathers: 

“I think women…when you see the 70%, in research, that says they are the leaders of the household, then 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.’ One of the great pictures that reaches me, because it is special, is to go to the Essence Festival and walk around to see a black male with his child on his shoulders…that means something…It’s not difficult to do [to be a father] and you don’t have to jump up one day, you can ease yourself into it.”

The importance of education: 

“Of course we have great things happening. Graduates of the naval academy, the military academy, graduates of all kind of Morehouse, Miles and colleges like that, but by the same token we also need people to go to community college. Okay, so you backed up and you didn’t do well. You quit school but now you find you need that high school credential. Go to the community colleges. Just go and sit there and understand that you’re going to get an education, because that’s what happened to me. At age 19 and a half, I just knew that I didn’t want to do certain things and it wasn’t what they were doing to me, it was what I was doing. It’s a very simple thing.”

Why drugging up some young men in prison isn’t going to help them when they get out: 

“Our criminal justice system in terms of our young people…If you drug these people, and then you release them, and there’s no prescription for them to get to take to do the same thing, they go back to the same place.”

The idea of “No-groes,” folks who don’t like to hear about what needs to change: 

“Now, about this time, this is when you hear the no-groes jump and say, ‘Why don’t you talk about good things?’ Because the good things happen to be taking care of themselves pretty well. We are trying to help those genius’, those not genius’, people who deserve, because they are human beings on this earth, in the United States of America, we are trying to get them in a position so they will understand and want to.

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.”


He makes some interesting points, but what do you think? 

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  • MsLadyE

    I agree with Mr. Cosby 100%. He’s saying this because he’s concerned about the Black community. The people who say negative things about him are probably the same ones who complain and whine about “the man is keeping us down”. “The man” is not keeping you down. You’re keeping YOURSELVES down.

  • scandalous7

    YES! YES! YES! NO-GROES is my new word because every time there is an article about how the black community needs to get it together, there are countless comments criticizing the MESSENGER and not focusing on the MESSAGE!!! happened with Lemon, happened with Bill, happened with anyone trying to tell TRUTH!

  • Fair and Balanced

    Many Blacks refused to accept the truth they would rather hold onto the crab in a bucket plantation mentality and blame everyone else but themselves for the outcome of their lives. Many of us would rather do nothing but allow ourselves to be lead around and told what to do right down to who we even vote for yet when someone like Mr. Cosby speak out against the ignorance he is blasted for it because they don’t want to accept the truth but the reality is until many of us in the Black community start to realize that they need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps then nothing will change.

  • Sheena B

    I don’t understand how we are so quick to close our ears to the truth. We make such a big deal out of “twerking”, getting paid big bucks to flip burgers, and justifying illegitimate relationships/children that we literally are setting ourselves back and don’t realize it. I don’t know how many times I can it; we are a confused and complicated group at times.

  • FromUR2UB

    I keep getting the impression that the people who criticize Mr. Cosby have never encountered any old people. I’m not saying that his ideas are old or dated, but that, if people understood the way older people see the world, they wouldn’t say ridiculous things like: “he hates poor people”. The disciplines that worked for his generation still work. I haven’t read Don Lemon’s comments, but in terms of racism, I would say that black people should do better as a sense of personal pride, rather than try to change the minds of some strangers who already made up theirs minds about you. Many black people are too damned reactionary in the way we do things. We want to prove our intelligence only after someone white calls us stupid. We’re motivated to vote in large numbers only when we believe someone is trying to restrict our right to vote. And being poor has nothing to do with people treating where they live like a dump…disposing of their trash by dropping it on the ground instead of throwing it away properly. It doesn’t cost anything. Rats live in filth. Want to know where to begin addressing problems of the poor? Start there. NO ONE wants to be around people with habits like that.

  • zina

    I respect Mr. Cosby and his views. I’ve seen him give these speeches at a convention center that I currently work. He didn’t charge. It was free. He spoke to all of the urban African American men about education, employment, and so many other factors. He wants his people(us) to prevail. People bash him but praise Jay Z, Drake, Kanye, and Wayne. None of whom could give a damn about our education… single parent households. .. unemployment and so forth. Too busy selling $330 white tees. Get real. I’d listen to Mr.Cosby any day because I buy one of their cd’s.

    • zina

      *Before I buy one of their cds.*