When I first started college, I used to be just like the people who are defending Bill Cosby. I thought every news outlet that called out black celebrities on their crimes were just trying to make black men look badly. I thought that every story I heard about rape on my college campus was just exaggerated. Until I started to go out more, I didn't realize how many guys seriously can't take "No." for an answer. It didn't matter what I wore, if I had liquor or not, or if I used the "I'm taken." excuse. I would have to get verbally aggressive with men just so they could realize that the only bed I would be sleeping in that night was mine.
The biggest issue with the Bill Cosby case is that people are denying and ignoring the experiences and trauma of 40 women who thought he was the same person we all grew up watching. The questions you ask now, such as, "Why did you wait so long to say anything?" or "Why did you go to his room?", are the same questions these women did not want to hear after their assaults. When you ask these questions, you show the victim that they should have done something differently. It's time to teach men and women that rape is anything that is acted upon without consent. Drunk, sober, fully clothed, or naked...without a proper "Yes", it is rape.
I understand that Bill Cosby created shows and movies that have inspired so many people. I understand that he had plans to put more black faces on NBC. However, please understand that he should have thought about that before he decided to take advantage of 40 women and continuing to live his life while they suffered. The recent attention on his crimes does not have anything to do with the media trying to slow a black man's progression. He had a 60+ year long career and was able to overcome each obstacle besides the ones he set for himself. The progression of African-Americans in film will not suffer because of him. Cliff Huxtable is just a fictional character.
With that being said, here's a list of 5 men in entertainment that you can admire besides Bill, on AND off the screen:
1. Anthony Anderson
Anderson recently completed his second season of his show Black-ish leading alongside Tracee Ellis Ross. This hilarious sitcom stars Anderson as "Andre", an advertising executive, and Ross as "Rainbow", an anesthesiologist. They have 4 children that they raise well, and honestly...this is my favorite show. Outside of acting, Anderson is active in diabetes awareness, and participates on game shows in order to donate to charities. In 2011, he won $250,000 for the Alzheimer's Association on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
2. Will Smith
Everyone knows Will Smith started out as the Fresh Prince with Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv. Since we're in 2016 now, my recent favorite film of his is Focus. I enjoy watching a movie and forgetting that the actor is portraying somebody completely different than who they are. When I finished the movie, I had to remind myself Smith isn't an actual professional thief. In real life, he's an amazing father. He teaches his kids to be themselves, unapologetically and wholeheartedly. Willow dresses the way she wants, and rocks the best hairstyles. Jaden recently signed on to model women's clothing for Louis Vuitton. Last but not least, Trey is a jack of all trades because he plays football, acts, and he's also a DJ.
3. Jesse Williams
Grey's Anatomy is just a few of the reasons why so many people admire Jesse Williams. Not only is he eye candy, he's extremely intelligent. His love for the arts transpires well through his acting, and he has a charming personality to add to the package. Before diving into acting full-time, Williams taught African Studies at a high school in Philadelphia. He now uses his knowledge to spread awareness on civil rights, police brutality, and other issues that African-Americans still face daily.
4. John Legend
John Legend is easily one of the most spectacular people in the world. Not just because he's married to Chrissy Teigen, (that is a huge part of the reason though), but because he's so musically versatile. I have never heard anyone play the piano and sing soulfully over trap music before in my life...until John Legend surfaced. If you've ever heard a Rick Ross song, you know it's possible. After the attacks on Planned Parenthood in Colorado, John and Chrissy generously donated to the organization. They are active contributors to PP, and they also provided food trucks for the protesters in Ferguson, MO. See...I told you they were perfect.
5. Samuel L. Jackson
I especially love Samuel L. Jackson because he's so notable. If you surveyed 100 people on the street with a list of Sam Jackson movies...chances are they have seen at least one. That is what is so incredible about him. He is able to take roles and make them memorable and enjoyable. My personal favorites are Jungle Fever and Pulp Fiction. Jackson is involved with many charities, and he's fond of starting his own as well. His campaign One for the Boys educates young men on the effects of testicular cancer and how to properly attend doctor visits each year. Gotta love it!
Thanks so much for reading! See you in 2 weeks!
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