Nikki Giovanni was over Bill Cosby back in 2007. Maybe even before that.
Thursday, video resurfaced of a speech Giovanni gave at a Miami Dade College book fair seven years ago where she lays Cosby out on a platter.
The clip, which lasts a little more than four minutes, starts out pretty clearly anti-Cos:
“Will somebody please hospitalize Bill Cosby?” Giovanni asks the crowd.
At the time, Cosby was knee-deep in “do better” prescriptions for black folks, including his 2007 book with Harvard professor Dr. Alvin Poussaint: Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors.
The problems within black communities, Cosby asserted, were largely self-inflicted. In 2004, he defiantly called African-American parents out at an event marking the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision.
Giovanni wasn’t feeling any of it. Below is another excerpt:
We ate that Jell-O and that mighty fine pudding, whatever he was doing with that. We would go in to have our pictures made and demand Kodak paper to try to help that Negro out and then he’s going to turn around and tell me I’m a bad mother? Uh uh, I’m not buying that. He’s going to tell me that I’ve done something wrong because I’ve tried to give my kid what every other kid has? Because I’ve tried to do the very best that I can do?
Another gripe Cosby brought up consistently was sagging pants, particularly with young black men. At the 2:07 mark in the video, Giovanni has quite the response to that:
He’s mad because they drop their drawers? He’s mad because he has to look at [their] cracks? It’s not the only cracks he’s mad at looking at because he’s looked at a whole lotta other ones…[hasn’t] he?
Giovanni, who was in Sacramento earlier this week at a black empowerment conference, continues to blast Cosby for what she perceives as his unfairness towards lower-income blacks.
At the end of the clip, Giovanni assures the crowd that she wasn’t there to roast Cosby but to read a poem.