I have discussed Cornel West a number of times. In many ways — I am a fan; I first read his popular work, Race Matter, during my junior year of high school. To give you a greater since of his impact and that of this book, I recently reread it. Professor West has also been in my dog house on matters related to Obama and a convoluted message regarding 21st century matters of race and identity. I can say, however, that I think he is a great person. In many ways, he has had a profound impact on my work as a social activist and being engaged in the streets as a person who advocates for social justice. Besides Janette, he has influenced how I spend my free time. I work six days per week. And on my one day off…I spend it with Janette at a soup kitchen. It is moral. It is right. It is what good people should be doing with their time.
I have heard him speak three times since 2002. But, it was my work at Princeton University back in 2007 that brought West to my attention. I was staying at the Nassau Inn across from the university, when I ran into West. He is a popular person. Yet — he took 15 minutes of his time to speak to me about my work at Princeton, Obama, and me being from the South. I greatly enjoyed our encounter. I have also reached out to him in hopes that he would write for my editorial colleagues at The Christian Century Magazine; I have not heard back. Give this 60 Minutes series of interviews a listen. It is worth the time.