WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 12: Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley hold discussions on politics in America at the "Remaking America: From Poverty to Prosperity" panel discussion at the George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium on January 12, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)
Earl Gibson III—Getty Images
By Salima Koroma
October 2, 2014

In new book Black Prophetic Fire, renowned speaker, activist and social commentator Dr. Cornel West discusses the black prophetic tradition.

Working with editor Christa Buschendorf, West discusses six key figures: Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ella Baker, Malcolm X, Ida B. Wells and Martin Luther King Jr., the latter of whom makes up his first political memory.

In an interview with TIME, West recalled getting to see the Civil Rights icon speak, when West was just 10-years-old. But even though he was so young at the time, West remembers knowing that “this brother was for real when he talked about love. And he knew justice is what love looks like in public.”

West went on to discuss some of King’s later writing, in which he heavily criticized the Vietnam War. “He’s always maladjusted to injustice,” West said.


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