Bill Cosby and Alvin F. Poussaint have a powerful message for families and communities as they lay out their visions for strengthening America, or for that matter the world. They address the crises of people who are stuck because of feelings of low self-esteem, abandonment, anger, fearfulness, sadness, and feelings of being used, undefended and unprotected. These feelings often impede their ability to move forward. The authors aim to help empower people make the daunting transition from victims to victors. Come On, People! is always engaging, and loaded with heart-piercing stories of the problems facing many communities.
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."
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October 08, 2007
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