“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Comedian Bill Cosby
When it comes to Comedian Bill Cosby, Black America needs to remember his positive contributions to Black culture.
Cosby’s trial in Pennsylvania on rape charges ended with a hung jury, but what is troubling is how people are hung up on the witch hunt and failing to respect the life and body of work of an outspoken Black icon.
The Cosby Factor
Growing up, admittedly I watched and was influenced by shows he produced and that played a partial and valuable role in the Black man that I am today.
It was critical growing up without a father to see a positive Black role model like Cosby providing some key information about surviving the streets, making positive decisions and ways to enjoy childhood without drugs, gangs or violence.
During each episode, Fat Albert and his friends (aka The Junkyard Gang), dealt with an issue or problem commonly faced by young urban children, ranging from stage fright, first loves, medical operations, hygiene to more serious themes (though toned down for younger children) including vandalism, stealing, racism, smoking, being scammed by con artists, sexually transmitted diseases, child abuse, kidnapping, drug use, gun violence and death.
At the end of most episodes (with some exceptions in the case of particularly serious themes), the gang would sing a song about the theme of the day.
The lessons of life that Cosby shared are priceless and great for this generation today that seems to be living life without a solid moral compasses to guide them through difficult middle school and high school years.
It is unfortunate that the emphasis of the media is on targeting and vilifying Black role models who have stumbled in life. Let me be the one to note that plenty of White role models and leaders have “dark” and questionable pasts, ie King David, President Donald Trump, Actor Errol Flynn, Actor Rock Hudson, Singer Curt Cobain, Filmmakers and Producers Roman Polanski and Woody Allen to name a few
Cosby’s positives helped shaped a lot of lives of millions in the post 1970s- 1980s era and that influence continues to help some navigate through some of life’s biggest challenges. He embraced being Black and relished his role in reshaping thinking about Black people.
Cosby’s work is still useful instruction for generation in need of moral and spiritual development. It still holds little life gems and never used inappropriate words spoke in blue or negative stereotypical dialects. He was just simple funny in a respectable way. Parents could even let the children listen.
Let us not forget his role as a trailblazer in comedy and for helping to lift the negative stigma against Black men that helped opened the door for many Black television and movie stars today.
In the 1960s, his stand-up act was a coast-to-coast sensation, spawning a string of hilarious, best-selling comedy albums, which went on to win eight Gold Records, five Platinum records and five Grammy Awards.
His role on TV’s I Spy made him the first African-American to co-star in a dramatic series, breaking television’s racial barrier and winning three Emmy Awards.
In the 1980s, he again rocked the television world with the The Cosby Show, a gentle, whimsical and hugely successful series that single-handedly revived the family sitcom and brought back a faltering NBC television network.
Like it or not, its portrayal of an upper-middle-class black family, the show was uplifting and inspirational for African-Americans because it gave us hope that I could dream, set goals and achieve great things, as well as shed light on how Black men and women could be the example of family together and raise children together in a positive light. That had a great influence on how I shaped my thinking and I have raised six children successfully.
Also, with hit movies like Uptown Saturday Night and best-selling books like Fatherhood, Cosby is simply a national treasure with the unique ability to touch people’s hearts.
Cosby will always be known as one of the great Black teachers, stand-up comedians and actors of his time. May the positive lessons be remembered and retaught for many generations to come
Cosby’s public successes span five decades and virtually all media, totally remarkable accomplishments for a kid who emerged from poor humble beginnings. He is a great example to follow.
We all have sinned and made mistakes and bad decisions from time to time.
Don’t let the White media destroy the positive image of a Black man whose body of work is far greater than a few issues with women in his personal life.
“He who is without sin…Cast the First Stone…..”