Recently, The Kennedy Center honored Bill Fortricks Cosby, giving him the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Chris Rock made a comic story about being able to feel identical in the presence of United States of America song legend Willie Nelson, however whilst inside the presence of Bill Cosby, Rock stated that Cosby allow him know that Cosby become the elder and deserving of commiserate recognize. My thoughts need to have processed something about having seen this clip because I awoke with a revelation approximately Bill Cosby, what he seems to represent to black education, black people and why he appears continuously to get into hassle with us.
Let me provide an explanation for.
First, I actually have to talk about Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the daddy of Black History Month. He began Negro History Week, looking to set up a way of life, ensuring that black human beings could desire to study more approximately themselves. The trouble is that one of the many records books he wrote is now being broadly read — The Mis-Education of the Negro, written in 1933. This e-book was a reaction to what co-founder of the NAACP and Renaissance guy Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois called, “the proficient 10th.”
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According to Du Bois, the gifted tenth, the pinnacle ten percentage of educated black human beings, could lead the rest of the race to liberation from the tyranny and impunity of American lynching, race riots, segregation and discrimination. Today, but, members of the proficient tenth, like Cosby, represent, not liberation, but assimilation. Since black people nevertheless are trying to find liberation, especially from police brutality and murder, imprisonment, and now, the ever-encroaching white backlash for the Obama Administration, Woodson’s The Mis-Education of the Negro has resurfaced.
Woodson’s e-book posits that Western training become designed mainly to elevate the white race as best to all races and to ruin all other cultures, labeling them as inferior with unique emphasis on the black race. This emphasis is shown inside the terrible — modifying out of all texts the complete contribution to the world of black humans. In Western training, Woodson says, blacks are simplest started to “show” black “inferiority”. Any cursory look at Western textbooks from Woodson’s term, 1933, could without problems show what Woodson says. Although nowadays, special efforts to say black humans and other peoples of color are made, their contributions to world improvement, mainly the ones of Africans, are not referred to or they’re now not placed of their proper contexts.
Dr. Woodson endorsed that black humans have a look at themselves first after which examine others. He recommended approaches to heal the injuries of this forget about and miss-schooling. Also, he prophesied what could happen if black people persevered to examine Western schooling without first growing an expertise of themselves, not simply as Americans, however as Africans.
Bill Cosby seems to symbolize the miseducated Negro, one who is thoroughly learned in Western education with little regard for what the shortage of African records in training means. As stated earlier than, Cosby can be categorised as a member of the gifted 10th. Instead of that institution main black human beings to liberation, many blacks take into account that the gifted tenth have merely led themselves to the financial institution, white neighborhoods and high degree positions in white-dominated fields. “Is this all of the progress that we will assume?” some ask.
Although Cosby and his wife have donated thousands and thousands of greenbacks to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, they appear to epitomize a growing separation inside the black community that Woodson warned in opposition to. The Cosbys were portrayed via the media as a couple who has conformed to Western society (the society that enslaved their ancestors) and followed its requirements as the best that humanity can offer. I do now not consider that the Cosby see themselves in this way, but they do seem to promote Western training without stipulation.
What is the harm on this?
I met a young black man on the bus stop in my place of birth, Shreveport, La. The city council had just surpassed a regulation against sporting sagging pants in public. The younger guy, of the route, turned into sagging so I requested him what he notion about the law. He brushed off me until I told him that I was in opposition to legislating one’s manner of dress.
He agreed with me and defined his disapproval of creating a regulation in opposition to someone’s freedom of self-expression. Knowing that this young man becomes deliberately defying the regulation, which becomes followed in the course of the administration of the primary black mayor, I talked about that amongst all of the other states, Louisiana had the best percent of its population in jail, comprised overwhelmingly of black people. During our exchange, the younger man cited to me that he desired to be a medical doctor. Immediately, I idea to myself that unless he conformed to society’s requirements, which seemed not likely, his dream would in no way come authentic.
The inconsistencies of this young guy induced me exceptional grief. It could be very clean for a younger guy like him to emerge as in jail. Although he become glaringly intelligent sufficient to become a medical doctor, he appeared ignorant of why he adopted the sagging tradition inside the first region. He seemed to care greater about defying a law that limited his non-public freedom. Also, he regarded unconcerned about the outcomes of defying that law. Finally, and, most importantly, he seemed unaware of the total devastation that Louisiana crook law should deliver to a young man which include himself. Remember the Jena Six? An unpaid price tag and a bit mindset ought to snowball, very easily, into existence imprisonment.
The difficulty of confirming or assimilating into white way of life become hot when Woodson wrote The Mis-schooling of the Negro. One could say that Bill and Camille Cosby are portions which might be assisting to make clearer the difficult results of the proficient 10th. Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economic coverage did not work for him. Similarly, the trickle down liberation coverage of Du Bois has no longer labored for black humans. It merely has brought about separation, abandonment, and the barren fruit of hopelessness. This imagery is even greater putting whilst viewing the conformity of President and Mrs. Barack Obama. Their assistance to the black community is greater oblique and implied than actual fact.
So, what’s the answer to this never-finishing debate of black schooling? Do we rant and rave approximately the talented tenth? Absolutely no longer. It does no suitable, anyway. We have a good time them as a superb and noble experiment. They constitute an idea that has been tested and discovered trying.
Thank you, Bill and Camille Cosby. Thank you, Barack and Michelle Obama. Thank you to all black people who have contributed greatly in the call of the USA of America.
Now, allow us to go back to the drawing board and not just study, however, take a look at, Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s The Mis-training of the Negro. Let us put African history again into its proper area – at the beginning of humanity and the start of civilization.