(The Washington Post) – In 1986, the wife of one complicated legend gave a piece of advice to the wife of another complicated legend.
The advice giver was Jacqueline Jackson, whose husband is the civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. The advice getter was Camille Cosby, whose husband is the comedian Bill Cosby.
Mrs. Jackson told Mrs. Cosby she had “important things to say” and should share her thoughts with the world, Jackson’s daughter, Santita Jackson, told The Washington Post. Cosby, who was then in her early 40s and a mother of five, resisted. She preferred the background. She feared public speaking. It didn’t feel right.
But that piece of advice may have stuck with her, for the very next year, Cosby gave her first commencement address. The woman who had so often been a punch line as the prototypical roost-ruling mother sent off the graduating class at Howard University with a quip: “If men only knew how sexy they are when they are caring for a child.”