Here are some non-sugarcoated words of wisdom from comedian/entertainer Bill Cosby. Appearing on CNN Newsroom with Don Lemon on Saturday night, Cosby reflected on the 50th anniversary of the "March on Washington." But what he hoped to see most in black communities moving forward, he said, was more fathers taking responsibility for their actions by raising their own children (via Mediate):
“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.'”
It’s no secret that roughly 72 percent of African-American children are born to unwed mothers. This is a terrible problem, obviously, and has long-term social and economic implications. And indeed, while the breakdown of the two-parent family household might not be the singular reason why black unemployment and poverty rates are higher in African-American communities, it’s certainly a reason, no?
Cosby, meanwhile, also touched on the importance of education, explaining that in his own experience, doors of opportunity only opened up to him when he first began “managing” his schooling -- and taking it seriously. He also encouraged high school dropouts to return to the classroom and earn their diplomas, and for those who may already have them, to matriculate at community colleges. Cosby, of course, is an example of someone born into less-than-ideal circumstances, but through hard work and personal initiative, achieved great success. He’s a wonderful role model for children everywhere -- not just those living in black communities. And therefore, I think, many young people would benefit from listening to what he has to say.