Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

It's a Wrap

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

It's a Wrap

Article excerpt

Events in 2004 proved riveting. One of the more highly anticipated events, besides the U.S. presidential election, was the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board. During one of the more glamorous celebrations of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling, entertainer Bill Cosby took the occasion to criticize the behavior and attitudes of poor Black Americans. We received a number of responses from our readers in the form of op-ed pieces responding to Cosby's controversial remarks and have chosen to publish three of them in "No Laughing Matter." Cosby's comments provoked a strong response within the Black community and the media happily ran with the story. When America's "favorite dad" speaks, it seems like people listen. Reaction to Cosby's comments ranged from criticism for airing the Black community's "dirty laundry" to others giving him a simple "Amen."

And while those of us at Black Issues were also involved in various commemorative events surrounding the Brown anniversary, including the publication of The Unfinished Agenda of Brown v. Board of Education, we were also anticipating and preparing for our 20th anniversary, which we celebrated with about 500 higher education professionals at our "Benchmarks and Barriers" conference in Arlington, Va., in June. At the anniversary gala event, Black Issues honored three recipients with the John Hope Franklin award. One of those people, like the award's namesake, is a world-renowned historian, Dr. David Levering Lewis. We close out our last edition of the year with an interview with the scholar and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. …

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