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The Essence Music Festival in New Orleans always presents the greatest musical acts, but now they’ve added exceptional speakers to that list. Bill Cosby was there to tell the black community, once again, to stop making excuses and start making a difference with our children. He’s been very critical of the black community, but he appears to be showing genuine concern.

A lot of us have heard what sounds like his speeches from our own parents, but when he says the same thing, we take offense. Why is that? One of the highlights from his speech was:

“We need to start getting into people’s business. We need to say, ‘Hey, I’m your cousin man, I’m your brother, I’m your sister and I don’t care if you don’t talk to me anymore but your teenage daughter ain’t got no business dressing like that!’ Tell them.”

Makes sense to me. We used to have a community, but the black community has been destroyed and dismantled for various reasons. The days of beating one another’s kids, sharing sugar, bread or an egg are gone. We can’t speak freely about the problems we see with our children for fear someone is going to get an attitude. He’s right on so many points and deserves a standing ovation for merely showing the courage to say it.

Here’s another gem printed from his speech:

“He then told the story of how a woman asked her son one day where he had been. “The boy said ‘uh, uh, no where.’ She asked him again, where he’d been. Again, he said, ‘uh, uh, no where. I ain’t doing nothing.’ She said, boy, where you been? Finally, he told her he was on the corner, hanging out.

“The woman looked at him and told him, ‘If you’re not in the picture, you can’t be framed.”

Read more from his speech here. The moment his speech is available on video, we promise to put it up for you. And as one of our readers suggested, we’ll print the transcript along with it …if it’s available. Enjoy.