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This essay is on Come on, people: on the path from victims to victors By Bill Cosby, Alvin F. Poussaint.

Bill Cosby is rapidly becoming one of the heroes of the American Right Wing, it is often said that he puts a ‘black face’ on the criticisms of the African-American community that are made by commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity who are perceived as racist towards the African-American community. The title of his latest book, “Come On People; On the Path from Victims to Victors” implies that African Americans are losers. According to some commentators Cosby reinforces negative, racist portrayals of African Americans as bedraggled and lazy criminals and at the same time argues that it is not his intention to do so (Hutchinson).

Absentee Fathers

One of the main themes of Bill Cosby’s work is the absence of male African Americans in the raising of their children. He says that African-American male children are hyperactive and they need a presence of adult male in their lives to keep them in control (Cosby and Poussaint). He traces many of the recent problems of the African American community to the rise of single mothers and one parent families. Looking back in a nostalgic manner to the days of segregation he recalls that back then all African American children were raised in two parent families, there was a great stigma attached to sex outside the marriage, a girl’s father would fend off unsuitable suitors and if a boy made a girl pregnant the girls family would force him to marry her (Cosby and Poussaint). In these times, Cosby says, many African-American women do not wish to get married to the fathers of their children because they are unemployed or underemployed. Cosby quotes Dr. Willie Barber of Baltimore who says that an African American single mother or her family often will not allow the father of her children to play a part in the lives of their children despite the father’s desire to do so. Cosby counters that the fact that those men are unemployed or underemployed does not mean that they should be shut out from the lives of their children, even these financially disadvantaged men have a lot to offer to their children. He suggests that the single mothers allow the fathers of their children to participate in the lives of their families and that the fathers could accept child-care responsibilities and help with the household chores (Cosby and Poussaint).

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