Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Good Saturday Morning Read

Bill Cosby has been traveling the country doing "call outs" in the Black community. The call outs are an extended version of the famous "Pound Cake Speech," which caused controversy when it was delivered in 2004 at the NAACP awards ceremony. In his article, "This Is How We Lost to the White Man," Ta-Nehisi Coates provides interesting insight on Bill Cosby, his solutions for the Black community and the schism between advocates of self-reliance and activists for integration.

If nothing else, the article made me question the way in which privilege or lack thereof influences the way in which we view our world. It made me stop and pause. Regardless of how insulated Cosby is in his billionaire world, he is out there doing something. He is speaking to people about doing it for themselves. (Not to mention giving money to HBCU's and created the only cartoon with a Black primary character, Little Bill.) And I wondered why we are always criticise people who ask us to help ourselves. If we don't like how someone is doing something, then, get up and go do it your own way.


Anonymous said...


I'm asking because I honestly don't recall, but isn't there a cartoon that Whoopi Goldberg created which features a black main character? I don't think it was picked up like LB, but my recollection is that it was cute and had a lovely message.

Christine, from the Mamas list

Big Man said...


That was a very good read, thanks for passing it along.

I agree with you that people should get up and make some changes on their own. I don't agree that we should bite back our critics of those who are already working.

As the article expressed so well, there is a lot to like about what Cosby is calling for.

However, his reliance on a mythical past and his disdain for poor people bothers me. It really bothers me.

Christina Springer said...

Christine, I'm not aware of that one. I've been digging to no success. Anyone?

Big Man - I hear you. I'm just hoping for constructive criticism. We are so often star-struck. The "star" says... and all of our critical thinking shatters on the floor. The article did a great, balanced and fair assessment of Cosby.

I was just trying to say that you don't have to be a star to do something. Of course we should converse, criticize and present alternate scenarios. So often - with Black folks - that one bit of attempt at dialog ends up being a complete tune out and shut down by many masses.

I guess I was also trying to say, folks in his position get called out when - in fact behind the scenes they are raising a ruckus the likes of which we can only imagine. Sensitivity goes both ways.

Ferocious Kitty said...

Whoopi Goldberg was involved with "Fairy Tales for Every Child" a while back on HBO. Not sure if she was the creator, or lent her voice or what.

"The Proud Family" on the Disney Channel comes to mind as having lead black characters.

I believe "Fairy Tales..." preceded "Little Bill", but I believe "Little Bill" preceded "The Proud Family." Not sure though.