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Cosby Sticks to Humor at Miami Event

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Cosby Sticks to Humor at Miami Event

Miami (AP) -- Bill Cosby avoided his recent criticism of some segments of the black community, instead sticking to humor and praise for parents during a charity event for at-risk children.

Many in Saturday night's crowd had expected Cosby to continue his series of remarks urging blacks to stop blaming others for social problems such as teen pregnancy, poverty and academic underachievement.

Cosby appeared before a packed crowd at Zo's Summer Groove, which is organized by former Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning.

Cosby, wearing a sweat shirt reading "Parent Power," joked that his parents and grandparents always knew exactly what he was up to.

"All day long, you were watched," he told the audience. "Even if there was a drawn shade, there was at least one eye peeking out of it. My mother knew everything I did."

In May, Cosby stunned an audience commemorating the landmark civil rights ruling Brown vs. Board of Education by citing elevated school dropout rates for inner-city black students and criticizing low-income blacks for not using the opportunities the civil rights movement won for them.

Cosby made similar comments this month at a gathering of black community activists in Chicago, when he said many young blacks are illiterate and "going nowhere."

On Saturday, he made an indirect allusion to those remarks, saying that television star Art Linkletter once told him, "'You know, Bill, as you get older, you're in sync with 5-year-old people and you don't really give a damn about what people think about what you say.'"

Before Cosby's speech, Mourning said he did not hesitate to invite the entertainer.

"No, because it's the truth. The truth is confrontational," Mourning said.

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Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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