Bob Herbert in today's Times discusses the new book by Bill Cosby and Alvin Poussaint, Come On, People: On the Path From Victims to Victors.

Here is part of the column:

The most important step toward ending the tragic cycles of violenceand poverty among African-Americans also happens to be the heaviestlift reconnecting black fathers to their children.

In aninterview yesterday, Dr. Poussaint said: You go into wholeneighborhoods and there are no fathers there. What you find is apathyin a lot of the males who dont even know that they are supposed to bea father.

The book covers a great deal that has been talkedabout incessantly the importance of family and education and hardwork and mentoring and civic participation. But hand in hand with itspractical advice and the undercurrent of deep love for ones communityis a stress on the absolute importance of maintaining ones personaldignity and self-respect.

Its a tough book. Victimhood is cast as the enemy. Defeat, failure and hopelessness are not to be tolerated.

I gather that both Cosby and Poussaint were on "Meet the Press" Sunday. I missed it. Did any catch it?

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is a longtime Commonweal contributor.

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