Dear Cornel West, A Question Please...
Last week, I had the opportunity to ask Dr. West a question in relation to his latest book, Black Prophetic Fire. I classified it as a softball. In trying to understand the legacy of Dr. West, it is necessary to understand that his verbalized intent is not to be a leader. Rather, he wants to press on leadership in order to get results. He looks to artists and academics-and yes, clergy somewhat- of today in order to continue the prophetic tradition. He is not looking to leaders. Perhaps in the future, the most honored hero will be someone who is not liked at all today. (Video below, my question at 39:50)
Take the leader/prophet dichotomy for what you may. Dr. West's polemic image is perfectly situated for someone who does hold a position in the new media structure which includes academics and social disrupters. Yes, Dr. West is a part of the structure, no matter his stated disdain for popularity seekers. The most salient point in all of Dr. West's passionate talking is that no matter what anyone's position is, he or she can be a catalyst for change. It is easy to look to leaders to create change, but it is just as feasible to push for change. At the least, it is possible to hold others accountable for their actions.
Be like Kim. Be the change you want to see: