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Come on, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
With his at-times controversial social commentary fresh in the public mind, legendary comedian Cosby (Fatherhood) teams up with psychiatrist Poussaint (Lay my Burden Down) to take a hard look at the state of black America, bearer of "more than their share of poverty," and present ways to overcome the "deep-rooted" challenges of the poor-including crime, lack of education and broken families. While aimed at a specific group, the authors' advice is broad and largely unsurprising-stay in school, work your way up, be independent, parent your children, stay out of debt, be a voice for change-but the context is genuine concern and hope for the community: "black strength lies in our resolve to keep on keeping on... never yielding to the role of cooperative victim." The authors are particularly concerned about young black males, who they say are relinquishing family responsibilities in increasing numbers, largely for lack of proper role models: "A house without a father is a challenge. A neighborhood without fathers is a catastrophe." Taking a long view of black Americans' struggle, Cosby and Poussaint draw cogent and historically-minded arguments against the excesses of gangsta rap, but prove even more vehement on the destructive influence of corporal punishment on kids. This tough, thoughtful guide to life will prove valuable not just for its target audience, but for the activists, social workers, clergy and teachers able to "provide our youth with the love and guidance that keeps them strong and on that positive path."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Bill Cosby is one of the most influential performers of the last half century. From a poor Philadelphia neighborhood, he rose to dominate the airwaves through shows like I Spy and The Cosby Show; become the all-time bestselling comedian on records; and author several blockbuster books, including Fatherhood, which became the fastest-selling hardcover book of all time and spent 54 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. A crusader throughout his career, his success is complemented by involvement with a host of charitable, education, and civil rights organizations.
Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., grew up in a family of eight children in East Harlem, New York. He is a veteran of the civil rights movement, serving as Southern Field Director of the Medical Committee for Human Rights in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960s. He is currently a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Judge Baker Children's Center. Dr. Poussaint is coauthor of Raising Black Children and Lay My Burden Down.
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Top customer reviews
But, whether you are an African American, know an African American, White, Brown, teacher of a diverse community or whatever - this book is for you, me and everyone. We ALL have room for improvement and need to take heed to Dr. Cosby's words.
This book isn't about Black Youth in America - it is about Youth in America. It isn't about single Black Women raising Black Males - it is about Single Mother's everywhere raising boys to be good men. I felt the accusing finger pointed right at my chest and tapped more than just a few times. Read it, read it, read it then read it again. Then, pass it on to your sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, priests, teachers and have them read it, read it, read it and read it again then pass it on to THEIR sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, priests, and teachers until everyone has read this book.
If you think this book "doesn't apply to you" because you are of a different race you are wrong. Bill Cosby is a true leader of the Human Race and needs to not only be listened to but heard.
My ONLY complaint is that the Kindle Fire version had a few bugs (very few). I bought my version and a few hardbacks to distribute.
This self-help guide is sorely needed. Many parts of the black community are like urban versions of William Golding's `Lord of the Flies', with waves of children born into neighborhoods without the norms and values of civilization. Don't believe me? Read the `call outs' in the book, which are testimonials from men and women the authors met during their tour of black communities. There's no point in lamenting over how or why this happened. The authors do quip that while blacks were thinking about the white man, blacks stopped thinking about the black man; however, they are primarily concerned with offering real tangible advice to those who desperately need tools to command control over their lives.
Their voice throughout the book is both fatherly (you can almost hear Cosby shouting in you ear `Come on People!') and authoritative of academically and professionally learned men. They also speak as loving elders within the African-American community, reminding their audience of the heroic legacy they've inherited from their forefathers.
They cover subjects such as prenatal care, child rearing, mental and physical wellness, education, finances, confronting crime, etc. Interestingly much of what they say is today considered counter-cultural. They assert that black children must speak `Standard English', boys are different from girls, two parent families with a married mother and father are ideal, abstinence is better than a condom, etc. Thank goodness these guys don't care about whatever Viacom says is fashionable.
There is a ting of sadness that these men, at this point in their lives, needed to write a book like this. It didn't need to be this way but life must be faced not as it ought to be but as it is, with the desire to change life for the better. As such, Cosby and Poussaint have written an impassioned, highly informative guide offering individuals something they may never have thought possible to attain: hope.
I wish more people took him to heart about facing and changing the self-destructive choices poor black AND white people make, like dads who father children and then bail, young women who can't even support themselves having kids (which is the royal road to "forever" poverty) and a cult of "authenticity" that black people *themselves* use in an attempt
to stop any other black person from learning mainstream American English, the language of professionals in America - the language of law, medicine and big business. Maybe they feel better about themselves if they keep other people down with them. But Standard English is something even WHITE kids get wrong. They have to LEARN proper grammar and spelling too!
People may not want to hear it, but Cosby is absolutely right. And he treats his targeted black readers like adults who DO know in their hearts that it's up to THEM to better their lives, and that they CAN do it. They HAVE to, because no one else will do it for them.
And it's empowering NOT to have to sit and blame others for the consequences of their choices, but instead, to get out there and do something to make your life better.
If you think the deck may be stacked against you, so what? It's stacked against ANYONE who doesn't get an education and a marketable skill these days. A better day than today will not arrive.
Most recent customer reviews
And let's hope he won't Come On anymore People.