Cornel West was the third speaker in MSU’s twenty first annual William G. Anderson lecture collection for Black Historical past Month, “Slavery to Freedom: An American Odyssey,” hosted by the school of osteopathic medication.
West is a professor of public philosophy at Harvard College and is a Professor Emeritus at Princeton College. He has written 20 books analyzing the intersections of race, gender, class and faith in American society, in addition to making frequent appearances on CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now. In quite a lot of mediums, West continues to share the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in keeping with his web site.
West talked with Marita Gilbert, MSU’s affiliate dean of range and campus inclusion, about a variety of matters specializing in the perseverance of Black tradition and utilizing like to combat systemic oppression.
The 90-minute webinar was light-hearted, even when the matters that had been mentioned weren’t. The dialog between West and Gilbert felt like a dialog between two previous mates assembly for the primary time shortly speaking about all points of Black tradition and the influence of the civil rights motion’s best leaders.
The big selection of matters included the Black activists that encourage them essentially the most, the position their instant households had of their lives, Black girls in management, the cultural significance of the Black church in Black American historical past, and their favourite jazz and blues artists.
West and Gilbert mentioned all of those concepts within the framework of preserving Black historical past and serving to the youthful era of Black People discover inspiration themselves in Black tradition and Black historical past.
“That is what we’re right here to acknowledge and to zero in and hold the concentrate on our treasured youthful era of all colours,” West mentioned. “However we will spotlight those that come from the chocolate aspect of city, on condition that that is Black historical past, however Black historical past is all the time not simply American historical past, not simply fashionable historical past, it’s human historical past.”
West and Gilbert’s dialog was based mostly on the love and respect for his or her position fashions in each a part of Black historical past and fashionable Black tradition, moderately than specializing in the negatives of the oppression that Black folks face on daily basis on this nation, just like the robust activists of the previous.
“They resolve to not terrorize folks again however to name for freedom for everyone, freedom fighters,” West mentioned. “These are they who’re traumatized, psychically, bodily, however change into wounded healers moderately than wounded hurters. And whenever you take a look at that exact pressure, that within the Black freedom custom, of the good love warriors, the good freedom fighters, the good wounded healers, they love reality. They love magnificence. They love goodness of mercy.”
West and Gilbert spoke concerning the ancestors that fought earlier than them for fairness however didn’t succumb to the identical evil tendencies that had been used to oppress Black folks. They spoke about how they might proceed to uphold their legacy and to take care of their degree of excellence within the combat utilizing love, honor and integrity moderately than violence and anger.
West was offered with two honors for his work throughout the webinar. The primary was a plaque offered by Brandon Henry, a second-year medical scholar within the faculty of osteopathic medication on behalf of the school. The second was a tribute signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and all the state legislature and offered by Rep. Julie Brixie on behalf of the Michigan state authorities.
“In particular recognition of Dr. Cornel West, let it’s recognized that it’s with the utmost respect and admiration that we honor you on your dedication and dedication to addressing racial discrimination and on your management within the civil rights motion,” Brixie mentioned. “You might be such an inspiring particular person who has touched so many lives via the numerous hours you have devoted to civil rights advocacy via your instructing in any respect the totally different universities. You have been a power for the understanding of race, gender and faith in American society.”
In case you are interested by watching the webinar with West or any of the opposite audio system within the William G. Anderson lecture collection, you could find the movies on the school of osteopathic medication website, which can be found to the general public.
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