That’s Bill Cosby On Line One

19 Oct

I used to work at a talent agency which represented mostly musical theater people and had a healthy roster of African-American clients who “crossed over” into non-singing just acting roles.

Another agent, a guy who (I am not kidding) used to trim the hair on his toes with scissors while sitting at the desk of the recently deceased former partner got a phone call from Bill Cosby. Bill wanted to pass on some helpful information to one of our clients, and this agent got the call. I always wondered what Bill had to say. We only heard one side of the conversation, which was mostly “Yes” and “Yes, sir” and “I agree comple–” cause Cosby was unstoppable.  It didn’t seem fair that a Neanderthal like that was talking to Heathcliff Huxtable and I was stuck booking Joe Recent-Graduate-From-Cincinnati-College-of-Music in a touring company of “Rent.”
Ten years later and now I know what he was saying. Cause he wrote a whole book about it.

Black boys, much more than girls, feel the need to carry on these traditions as part of their identity of being hot and/or cool. When boys hang on to so-called Black English in the classroom and verbal confrontations in the street, they may be hanging tough with their homies, but they are handicapping themselves in the game of life. They can “trash-talk” or “play the dozens” better than anyone on the planet, and that still isn’t going to get them a job or into college… no matter how often or how publicly they grab their crotches, crotch-grabbing isn’t even going to get them a bus ride downtown.

From Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors by Bill Cosby

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