Sample Essay

Words 1,654

Cosby acknowledges that the high prevalence of violence within the African-American community might have its roots in the violent slave-owning culture of the American South, however he says that the high proportion of African-American children who are raised by their mothers in single parent families and a lack of good parenting aggravate this culture of violence (Cosby and Poussaint).

According to Cosby this culture of violence obtains support from the lyrics of rap songs which glorify the ‘gangster’ lifestyle. It also feeds upon the lack of self esteem in African American young men who are extremely sensitive to any perceived insults or slights upon their honor and feel the need to commit acts of violence in order to uphold their honor (Cosby and Poussaint). It also feeds upon African-American traditions of building up a social pecking order through verbal confrontation with each other and the prevalence of physical punishment as a method of disciplining children prevalent among African-American parents (Cosby and Poussaint).

Some of the suggested solutions for this problem that Cosby gives are: Firstly, that the parents need to keep guns away from their children. They should find out if the child possesses a gun and explain to him that if they use the weapon on anyone it would have disastrous consequences not only for them but for the victim as well (Cosby and Poussaint). If the parents posses a gun of their own, they should keep it locked away in a place where the child can have no access to it (Cosby and Poussaint). Secondly parents should try to instill in their children the value of non-violence and glorify in their children’s minds the non-violent tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Cosby and Poussaint).

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