Bill Cosby, born in 1937, won an Emmy in 1965 for his co-star role with Robert Culp on I Spy, one of the first dramatic TV roles for a black actor that had nothing to do with race.

The same year he won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album, I Started Out as a child. In 1984, he launched the Cosby Show which along with his book Fatherhood cemented him as America’s Dad in the public mind, but that was soon tarnished. 

Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to three to ten years in prison in September 2018. After his sentence imposed for drugging and having sex with multiple young women, his picture was taken down from Ben’s Chili Bowl, a popular hangout for black celebrities in DC.

Still I remember the millions of dollars he gave to black colleges. In 2009, I was delighted to have  taught journalism in the William Cosby Communication School at Central State College in Wilberforce Ohio. In our interview he told me his key to success was “Just do what you like and assume your taste is what the nation will like.” There are many ways to look at that now.

You can read more from our interview in this book:

And Still We Rise – Interviews with 50 Black Role Models

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Forward:

“On Sept. 15, 1982, USA TODAY was founded on a commitment ‘to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity’ across the USA, and the editors of The Nation’s Newspaper pursue that goal in every edition.

“The daily Opinion and Inquiry pages of USA TODAY play a key role in the pursuit and so does Barbara Reynolds, editor of the Inquiry page and a member of the Opinion page editorial board.

“This book, And Still We Rise, represents a special segment of Ms. Reynold’s share in the USA TODAY commitment — a collection of her interviews with 50 black men and women whose achievements make them strong role models for everyone.

“The success stories of these 50 leaders provide the facts and some of the frustrations. They offer ideas and inspiration. They share words of warnings and examples of courage for all who care to follow these footsteps of achievement.

“USA TODAY is proud of the contributions to its pages by Ms. Reynolds and is pleased to share these selections of her work.”

—John C. Quinn– Editor, USA TODAY, Chief News Executive, Garnett Co, Inc.

USA Today with Dr Barbara Reynolds Reporting 50 full text Influential Interviews with 50 black role models. Here are some examples of content you will find from these individual interviews.

  • Maya Angelou
    • “Some of us are timid. We think we have something to lose so we don’t try for that next hill or that next rise”
  • Ray Charles
    • “I don’t know of any country that is set up as glorious as this one.”
  • Bill Cosby
    • “I want to know what established that black Americans are inferior.”
  • Martin Luther King SR
    • “When we vote our strength, we are demonstrating power.”
  • Martin Luther King III
    • “Once we because an integrated society, we became selfish and we tried to forget the past.”
  • Oprah Winfrey
    • “The more your praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate”
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