Dr. Nikki Giovanni reads a poem during ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on February 12, 2009.
KAREN BLEIER—AFP/Getty Images
By Sarah Begley
November 21, 2014

Bill Cosby had plenty of critics before his latest scandal, and in a video from 2007 that has circulated on the Internet this week, poet Nikki Giovanni gave him a thorough skewering.

The entertainer was known then for making conservative speeches on what he considers a lack of morality in the black community, and proposing changes that Giovanni took issue with.

“They should buy Hooked on Phonics because he doesn’t understand what they’re saying?” she asked in a speech at the Miami Book Fair International seven years ago. “He needs to listen. Park your limousine.

“He’s mad because they drop their drawers? He’s mad because he has to look at the crack? It’s the only crack he’s mad at looking at, because he’s looked at a whole lot of other ones.”

Cosby canceled a series of performances Friday, as allegations that he sexually harassed or raped various women over a period of decades continue to grow. His lawyer has dismissed the claims as false.

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