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:

My Life, My Love, My Legacy: The Memoirs of Coretta Scott King

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Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.
As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women’s, workers’ and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity.

Coretta’s is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.

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