cornel west quotes

As a gift I would love for our generation and all the people that grew up without their parents, whether you knew them early on or not, is to have that conversation so you could let that anger go. Because that’s the sort of anger that keeps you from love - it makes you put up walls and you don’t let people get close to you, because you don’t ever want to feel that feeling of abandonment or that feeling of hurt again, so you don’t let certain people close to you.
—  Jay-Z, speaking on the impact he felt after repairing his relationship with his father Adnis “AJ” Reeves, during a conversation with Dr. Cornel West and Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library in 2010.
White supremacist ideology is based first and foremost on the degradation of black bodies in order to control them. One of the best ways to instill fear in people is to terrorize them. Yet this fear is best sustained by convincing them that their bodies are ugly, their intellect is inherently underdeveloped, their culture is less civilized, and their future warrants less concern than that of other peoples…How does one come to accept and affirm a body so despised by one’s fellow citizens?
—  Cornel West, Race Matters
  • Sister Souljah: You’re making a moral appeal to a country that doesn’t have a moral conscience. The question becomes: that when white people feel serious and angry and upset about abortion, they come out in the thousands up to the millions to say, “This is what we believe about abortion.”
  • Where is the white outcry against white racism that murders African people all around this entire globe? It doesn’t exist. So who are these “white good people”? I want to meet them! I want to see them!
  • Cornell West: I know a few, but Sista…
  • Sister Souljah: A few is not enough-
  • Cornell West: But that might be all we can get
  • Sister Souljah: Oh no, no. And guess what? I don’t work with “all I can get” […] listen you have to have some confidence in the power of African people amongst ourselves to establish a foundation[…] And you (Cornell West) may have a program, Mr. Brown may have a program. But what we got to talk about is an American government that traps millions of African people who don’t go to your program, don’t go to Brown’s program. Millions of African people not only here but all around the world. And if we are not honest enough to say who are our friends, who are our enemies, to know what a friend is, to know what an enemy is. We will constantly be trying to get into people’s parties, to shake our butts with them, to get them to like us. And that’s not the question, the question is: What can we build amongst ourselves to secure ourselves from our enemies so that we can be able to survive into the future.
Muhammad Ali is one of my heroes because when he was saying, ‘I’m pretty,’ he was saying that to all of us, he made all of
us feel like we were pretty. 'I’m pretty, I’m a bad man, I’m pretty.’ You gotta figure this was a time when we were considered ugly, so he wasn’t just saying that as a boast to walk inside the ring, he was saying that as a boast for all of us.
—  Jay-Z, speaking about one of his heroes, Muhammad Ali, during a  conversation with Dr. Cornel West and Paul Holdengräber at the New York Public Library in 2010.