All Articles Tagged "Bill Cosby"
Update: Bill Cosby delivered the keynote address at this weekend’s Tuskegee University Homecoming and Charter Day Convocation, using James Brown’s hit song “Get Up” as a rallying cry for his audience. And according to a press release sent our way this morning, he also encouraged the audience to steer clear of being the “perpetual victim who blames a ‘mythical white man’ for their inaction.”
He said black American culture is under attack by people who wish to make money off of it. He said the culture has become riddled with negative images and activities, which are in opposition to its foundation of hard work, pride and determination. He also encouraged having respect for black women and rejecting obscenity.
With tighter regulations on student loans impacting the ways in which parents finance their kid’s college costs, HBCUs have been dealing with a drop in enrollment. So everyone’s favorite funky sweater-wearin’ TV dad, Bill Cosby, has come to the rescue! In support of Tuskegee University, Cosby is holding fundraiser that includes taking photos with the iconic sitcom star.
For a $5,000 donation, the contributor will not only be able to capture a Kodak moment with Cosby, but he or she can also grab some lunch with Dr. Huxtable and receive a special donor’s gift. Cosby’s philanthropic efforts, called “Conversation with Cosby,” will benefit Tuskegee’s “Programmed for Excellence” – a campaign that seeks to raise $250 million over the next five years for the university’s enhancement.
“Cosby has a long history of supporting historically black colleges and universities and is honorary co-chair for Tuskegee’s capital campaign,” a press release stated. Continuing his pledge to HBCUs, Cosby will be the keynote speaker for Tuskegee’s Homecoming/Charter Day Convocation on Nov. 3. The beloved comedian will begin the address at 9:30 AM CST in the Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Arena. The cost to attend the event is free. However, if you’re feeling a bit gratuitous, make your way over to The Legacy Museum at 11:30am to drop $5,000 for a rendezvous with the American legend.
Cosby has been known to burst through the racial glass ceiling as the first African American co-star on I Spy, a 1965 TV series. He was the first Black actor to not only take a lead role, but “win three consecutive Emmys for ‘Outstanding Lead Actor’ in the dramatic series,” a press release adds. While Cosby has captivated several generations through his comedy, his most notable work lies in The Cosby Show, a sitcom that uplifted the perspective of the American Black family. Unsurprisingly, The Cosby Show was No. 1 for years and earned nearly “unanimous critical praise.”
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?
From Black Enterprise
In 1958, newlyweds Ben and Virginia Ali used $5,000 to begin renovating a building at 1213 U Street. Built in 1910, it first housed a silent movie house called the Minnehaha Theater. Later, Harry Beckley, one of D.C.’s first black police detectives, converted it into a pool hall.
On August 22, 1958, Ben’s Chili Bowl opened for business. And 55 years later, the bowl is still going strong.
To mark their 55th anniversary, special invited guest Bill Cosby will speak at Thursday’s celebration, which kicks off at 10 a.m. This is not the first time the comedian has worked with the restaurant. Cosby’s voice can currently be heard on the voice mail greeting of the restaurant.
According to the Washington Post, the range of A-listers who have stopped by Ben’s is impressive. Actors Denzel Washington and Chris Tucker, and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy have visited the restaurant. In the early days, according to Ben’s, guests included Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and even Martin Luther King Jr.
Read more at BlackEnterprise.com
Celebrities are no stranger to having rumors made up about them; the more famous the celebrity, the crazier the rumor, like death hoaxes. Here are 15 stars who people viciously claimed were dead.
After his assault on then girlfriend Rihanna, Chris Brown was one of the most hated men in entertainment, and in 2012, “internet killers” joined forces on two social networking platforms to declare the “Don’t Judge Me” singer dead. In addition to a hashtag with the words “RIPChrisBrown” trending on twitter, the comment sections for his official videos on YouTube were flooded with messages of mourning. While he has a way to go with winning people over in the court of public opinion, Brown did recently score a victory in criminal court after his hit and run case was thrown out.
Rapper Biggie Smalls said it best: “Mo money, mo problems.” With their high-profile careers and million dollar paychecks, these celebs were easy targets for extortion and blackmail. Here are the stories behind the opportunists who tried to get them for all they’re worth.
Oprah Winfrey is one of the wealthiest women in the world making her an obvious target for blackmail. She found herself a victim of such a several years ago when Keifer Bonvillain came out of the blue saying he was in possession of hours worth of private conversations with a Chicago-based business associate that could potentially ruin the talk show mogul’s career. Never one to back down, Winfrey refused to give in to his $1.5 million demand. Instead she contacted the authorities, who were able to foil the plot and arrest Bonvillian.
Death is a part of life, but it is not the natural order of things for a parent to bury a child. These 15 celebrities had to survive the unthinkable pain of burying a child.
Bill Cosby is known as one of America’s favorite dads largely because of his role as Heathcliff Huxtable on the hit television series, “The Cosby Show.” In real life, the father of five lost his only son, Ennis, in 1997. The 27-year-old Columbia graduate was changing a flat tire on an early January morning when he was murdered. The killer was caught and sentenced to life without parole. The role of Theo Huxtable, played by Malcolm Jahmal Warner, was based on Ennis.
Bill Cosby turns 76 today. Whether you loved him most as dad Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” or as Wardell Franklin in “Uptown Saturday Night”, there’s no doubt Cosby’s made a big impact on entertainment. The outspoken comedian, author and father of five has talked about everything over his long career, but what he’s always talked about is the joys (or not) or parenthood. In honor of his birthday, here are our favorite quotes about the good, the bad and the ugly of parenting.
Bill’s approach to discipline…: “Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry.”
Eddie Murphy once told the story about the time when Bill Cosby called him to complain about bad language in his comedy act. Distraught that one of the living legends of this comedy ish would feel the need to chastise him, Murphy called his old buddy Richard Pryor for some moral support. To which Pryor told him not to worry about it and then said do the jokes that make the people laugh: “Do the people laugh when you say what you say?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Do you get paid?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Well, tell Bill I said have a Coke and a smile and shut the F- up. Jello pudding-eating motherf**ker.”
That punchline comes to mind every time Cosby goes on one of his “Pull Your Pants Up” rants about black people. This time it is an editorial in the New York Post, in which The Cos maunders on about black-people problems and how Black people, more specifically Black Christians, should be more like Black Muslims:
“I’m a Christian. But Muslims are misunderstood. Intentionally misunderstood. We should all be more like them. They make sense, especially with their children. There is no other group like the Black Muslims, who put so much effort into teaching children the right things, they don’t smoke, they don’t drink or overindulge in alcohol, they protect their women, they command respect. And what do these other people do? They complain about them, they criticize them. We’d be a better world if we emulated them. We don’t have to become black Muslims, but we can embrace the things that work.”
I’m not going to talk about Cosby’s black conservatism as way better thinkers and writers have done a good job of dissecting and discrediting his bullcrap, including Nikki Giovanni, who in particular, once spoke of Cosby’s brand of “tough love” as being, “full of sh!t.” But I do want to address this thinking, which I have heard rather frequently cross the lips of many black folks everywhere. I’m talking about this whole culture-envy. That there is something more special that other races, ethnic groups and religions are doing better than we are. And if only black folks would start doing this special thing like [insert racial/ethnic/religious group here], then all of our problems would be “solved.” This thinking has always bothered me because not only does it sound pitifully insecure, but it is also largely inaccurate.
I don’t have the exact numbers but Philly, the hometown of both Cosby and myself, has a very large black Muslim community. In fact, it is not unusual for a family to be made up religiously of Christians and Muslims (and some other stuff as well). As a whole the black Muslim population is varied by sects, socio-economic status and devotion (ie. moderate and orthodox). In other words, the Black Muslims here are diverse and fully integrated into the fabric of local black culture – including the bullshit. I am in no way gonna disparage an entire religion no more than I will take Cosby’s route to unnecessarily hype it up as a solution to all of our troubles. But I will point out rather factually that there are plenty of guys named Mohammad, who are faithful to Islam, and yet are also high-school dropouts, who drink, smoke, sag their pants and are disrespectful to women.
But just in case you don’t hear me though, here are some real facts:
Miguel’s tweet about black people being the “most judgmental people in the world” really ticked a lot of people off, but a black celebrity chastising other black folk is nothing new. From Bill Cosby to the Obamas, there seems to be plenty of finger wagging from black people who have moved on up to that de-luxe apartment in the sky. What is it about fame that seems to make black people turn around and scold the people who very likely got them to where they are in the first place?
Successful blacks preaching to us lowly Joes hanging out at the bottom of the social ladder is nothing new. The National Council of Negro Women’s motto “Lifting as We Climb” captures their belief that the successful, refined Negro woman, as she advances, should reach down and pluck her unevolved cohorts out of social inferiority. And then there’s WEB DuBois’ whole venomously elitist Talented Tenth thing.
So Bill Cosby screaming at youngsters to pull their pants up and get off his lawn was annoying, yes, but nothing new. Lately, however, there seems to be an influx of black personalities criticizing black masses in a way that can almost only be described as elitist. At Bowie State University’s graduation this year, First Lady Michelle Obama bemoaned black kids who aspire to be rappers and ball players “instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader.” President Obama has stepped on a few toes by coming at black fathers. Even rapper A$AP Rocky — whose opinions we care about for reasons unbeknownst to me — is in on the act, accusing black women of being “too sensitive” after an uproar over his claims that black women shouldn’t wear red lipstick. It seems that when black folks finally get a piece of the pie, they yell at the rest of us about what’s keeping us from getting our own.
But is it helping? I’m of the opinion that it isn’t. The unfortunate thing about famous people now having a platform is that sometimes those platforms are used to spout rather unintelligent, ridiculous thoughts and beliefs. That’s what we got with both A$AP Rocky and Miguel — black people can be judgmental, yes, but so are people of every culture. And black women can’t wear red lipstick? I beg to differ, honey. And when the stars are talking about actual, valid points, they’re usually barking up the wrong tree for solutions. You can tell a child to aspire to be more than a rapper or athlete, yes, but if rappers and athletes are the only successful people a child sees, what else do you expect him to want to be? This seems to be a more a problem of poverty and access than a simple craving for a glamorous life. And you may think that kids sagging their pants and using the “n-word” is holding us back as a people, Bill Cosby, but there are bigger problems at hand.
Overall, griping about what black people need to stop doing and start doing is something that a lot of us do. We just hear it from celebrities because, well, they’re celebrities. Their positions in the spotlight gives amplifies their voices. But unless they’re harping about actual problems and not symptoms of bigger problems, and unless they’re actually trying to do something to help solve the problems, it’s all for naught. And when you’re just talking drivel like Miguel and A$AP, somebody needs to cut off your mic.
When Barack Obama gave a 2008 Father’s Day speech to the congregation of Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, he spoke frankly on the subject of absent fathers in the black community. Echoing some of what Bill Cosby said in his viral “Pound Cake” speech to the NAACP in 2004, then-candidate Obama lamented: “Too many fathers… have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men.”
Citing statistics that show 64 percent of black children are raised in homes where the father is absent, he pointed out that children who grow up in households headed by a single mother are more likely to drop out of school, commit crime, go to prison, et-depressing-cetera.
Obama put it bluntly: “The foundations of our community and country are weaker because of this,” adding, “We can’t simply write these problems off to past injustices. Those injustices are real… but we can’t keep on using that as an excuse.”
Many cringed at his candor. Jesse Jackson famously criticized Obama for the speech, saying the candidate was “talking down to black people.” Jackson immediately apologized for the remarks (ironically meant for a private conversation that had been caught on a mic), and profusely expressed in a subsequent news conference, “I don’t want harm nor hurt to come to this campaign.”
Close ranks. Yank the dirty laundry off the line. End scene.
Just weeks ago, Obama repeated many of the sentiments articulated in his Father’s Day speech in a commencement address at Morehouse College. I have to admit, before reading the speech for myself, I was irritated by some of the soundbytes that buzzed across Facebook, Twitter and various blogs. Specifically, I was concerned the President’s remarks about fatherlessness to a class of graduating black men—men who had defied the stereotype—could be twisted in the public sphere, and used to support the caricature of pathological blackness many Americans still have.
Again, this fear—my fear—of dirty laundry.
But airing the laundry for all to see is a necessary step to correcting the problem, says Joseph T. Jones, Jr., founder of the Baltimore-based Center for Urban Families. “The problem is so massive that we can no longer have private conversations,” Jones explains. “We need other people to be engaged in this conversation.”