From Tamir Rice to Akai Gurley the names of African American men and boys killed by police keep piling up. The lack of a grand jury indictment in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson sparked a protest movement with signs and shouts of “Hands Up. Don’t Shoot” and “Black Lives Matter.” The death of Eric Garner in New York was videoed around the world. His plea of “I Can’t Breathe” became a rallying cry. Many people are asking where is justice? Illusions have been shattered that we live in a “post-racial” society. Fundamental questions are being raised. Is property more important than people? Racism, poverty and inequality run deep. African-Americans are disproportionately incarcerated. Dr. King believed in the transformative power of love and as he said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
Cornel West, University Professor of Religion at Princeton, has been called “the preeminent African American intellectual of his generation.” With his preacher-like cadences and passionate delivery, he is much in demand as a speaker. A prolific author, his book Race Matters was a bestseller. His latest book is Democracy Matters.