Post-Colonial Moment: Bill Cosby and the state of black America

A year ago US comedian Cosby raised a storm at the NAACP gala dinner with a dyspeptic rant about the self-destructive failures of the black underclass: "knuckleheads" without parents who "put their clothes on backward," speak bad English and go to jail.

In his newly-released book, University of Pennsylvania professor and pop culture critic Michael Eric Dyson says the "Afristocracy" -lawyers, physicians, intellectuals, bankers, civil rights leaders, entertainers, and other professionals-looks with disdain upon the black poor who make up the "Ghettocracy" -single mothers on welfare, the married, single, and working poor, the incarcerated, and a battalion of impoverished children. Dyson explains why the black middle class has joined mainstream America to blame the poor for their troubles, rather than tackling the systemic injustices that shape their lives.

Most importantly Dyson claims blames the legacy of slavery for keeping down black America. Cosby says it is time to move on from slavery and look at the accomplishments of recently immigrated blacks from Africa and the Caribbean for inspiration and guidance.

What do you think?


At Tuesday, May 24, 2005 10:56:00 AM, Anonymous Maya J. in Philadelphia said...

As a black women I agreed with Bill Cosby about African Americans needing to take more responsibility for themselves, but I also agree with Dyson that many of the problems in the black community are a result of the legacy of slavery and discrimination. I think, however, it is hard to take Cosby seriously with his alleged sexual indecencies.


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