In an interview reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Bill Cosby spoke to CNN’s Don Lemon about the type of leaders the African American leaders need in today’s world. His tough-love stance is controversial to some, but Cosby stresses that education and parenting coming from both men and women are important elements of creating a stronger African American community.
“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,” Cosby tells CNN. “I want to go back and get my three kids. I want to take on that responsibility. I want to love my children.”
Cosby also says getting an education is important for everyone, including adults who dropped out of high school. “Go to community college,” he says. “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.”
Why does Cosby feel so qualified to discuss these subjects? Because he’s someone who rose above similar difficulties of the people he is talking about, and managed to pull his life together.
“Every loud voice you hear yelling about something and saying, ‘Well you just — you lost us. You became a millionaire.’ The reason why I’m giving you this information is because I was living in the projects,” he explains. “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.”
Cosby also talks about how he thinks overmedicating juvenile inmates instead of counseling them is causing more problems in their lives, and refers to people who refuse to discuss the problems in the African American community as ‘No-groes.’
“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, and they go back to the same place,” he says. “Now, about this time, this is when you hear the No-groes jump up and [say] ‘Why don’t you talk about the good things?’ Because the good things happen to be taking care of themselves pretty well. We are trying to help those geniuses, those not geniuses, 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.”