Yesterday, Dr. Cornel West gave a lecture at Tulane University for the Black Student Union’s Black Arts Fest.
I had the chance to ask him in what way he believed Black music and artistic expression aided Black liberation efforts. He responded by discussing the way artists like Coltrane, The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield and James Brown made Black people feel good spiritually. That you could go to a four hour Brown concert and if you didn’t hear him play something, all you had to do was yell that out and he’d play the song.
He said, “Oligarchs have made it so that Black music is now thin spiritually, which produces spiritually thin black youth. our music does not fortify our souls enough to strengthen us to really fight for true liberation.”
West also noted Kendrick Lamar as a true artist for black liberation and that the rest are tools of capitalism and superficial posturing.
Check out what he quickly and poetically had to say about love below: