Bill Cosby told CNN Saturday that black fathers need to take more responsibility in raising their children.
Cosby made the comments while being interviewed by Don Lemon about the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham church bombings, where four African-American girls died in one of the turning points in the Civil Rights Movements.
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At the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this summer, Cosby said he saw black men holding hands with their children and putting them on their shoulders. He said fathers needed more bonding like that with their children.
Cosby said that teaching black men to have stronger presences in their kids’ lives should start in school.
"I think (black leadership) has to come from the universities," Cosby said, according to Mediaite.com. "I think, women, strongly because when you see 70 percent, in research, that says they are the leaders of the household, what we need is for people to realize I want to raise my kid. I want to go back and get my three kids. I want to take on that responsibility. I want to love my children."
Lemon faced backlash from some prominent African-Americans in July, when he agreed with Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly that problems in the black community stemmed from the disintegration of the family unit, drugs, and gangster culture, according to the Huffington Post.
"Black people, if you really want to fix the problem, here's just five things that you should think about doing: hike up your pants, finish school, stop using the N-word, take care of the community, and stop having children out of wedlock," Lemon said on CNN.
His comments evoked responses from music mogul Russell Simmons and MSNBC's Goldie Taylor among others.
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"At age 19 and a half, I knew I didn't want to do certain things," Cosby told Lemon. "It is not what they weren’t doing to me; it’s what I wasn’t doing. It’s a very simple thing."
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