TIME Civil Rights

Hear Cornel West Recount His First Political Memory

The activist and commentator talks about Dr. Martin Luther King's vision of justice

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.

TIME

Watch Belgian Superstar Stromae Decode His Biggest Music Videos

The European mega-star describes the vision behind his eccentric music videos

What does it take to become one of Europe’s most sought-after artists? Perhaps a mega-single that topped the charts in more than 20 countries. And if that’s not enough, two number one albums, countless awards, a successful clothing line, viral YouTube videos, and a sold out U.S. tour might do the trick.

But Belgian singer and composer Stromae’s international success lies not just in his ability to write clever lyrics and produce catchy beats – his allure also rests on the utter strength of his music videos.

Stromae’s video offerings are laced with metaphors and treated with deep – and sometimes even uncomfortable – imagery. Take, for example, last year’s “Papaoutai,” a song about sons growing up to be just like their fathers. Stromae plays a father whose son wants to interact and do things that fathers and sons do. But Stromae’s character doesn’t move; he’s static, literally like a mannequin. Pretty soon, his son learns to be just like him. “Even if you hate [your father], you will be exactly like him,” Stromae explained to TIME. “But even so, that’s a beautiful thing.” “Papaoutai” now has close to 200 million views on YouTube.

Watch above as Stromae explains the metaphors and imagery in three of his most successful music videos, “Papaoutai,” “Tous Les Memes,” and “Formidable.”

TIME isis

The U.S. Doesn’t Declare War Anymore

Our leaders are increasingly cautious about using the 'w' word

When Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan after the 1941 Pearl Harbor attacks, it signified the last time the U.S. officially declared war.

Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq: technically, those were not wars. Those conflicts, and other in between, are considered “Extended Military Engagements.” President Obama too has been selective about the way he uses the word “war” in the build-up to today’s situation with the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

Call it whatever you want: “targeted action,” “a systematic campaign,” or a “sustained counter-terrorism strategy” – but don’t call it war.

TIME Crime

Dick Gregory Compares Ferguson to the Civil Rights Movement

St. Louis native and Civil Rights activist Dick Gregory describes the pain coming from the Ferguson community.

Correction appended: Aug. 12, 2014, 12:05 a.m. E.T.

Activist and comedian Dick Gregory was shot in the leg during Los Angeles’ Watts Riots in 1965. Almost 50 years later, he says the anger and frustration felt by the Watts rioters then are the same sentiments felt by the community in Ferguson, Mo., now.

The only thing different this time, Gregory says, is the ability to show the images across the world instantaneously.

“All over America, they’re saying this situation is happening ‘in St. Louis,'” Gregory says. “But people that don’t live in America say, ‘Did you see what’s going on in America?'”

Additional reporting:

Jon Lowenstein
Nicholas Weissman
Jeremy Levine

Correction: The original version of this story misidentified the state Ferguson is in.

TIME Crime

‘If You’re Scared, Go Home': Countdown to Curfew on the Streets of Ferguson

A TIME camera crew stayed with demonstrators and protestors deciding whether to flee or fight, as Ferguson braced for the clock to strike midnight

Governor Jay Nixon set the curfew to begin at midnight. After that, all people out on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri—whether looting, peacefully protesting, or otherwise—would be breaking the law.

TIME stayed on the streets of the St Louis suburb Saturday night, filming locals as they debated whether to go home—as the police urged them to—or to stay and resist the will of the authorities. Throughout the day, legal advocates passed out instructions in case of mass arrest, and community leaders tried to urge protesters to obey the curfew.

But to some present, remaining on the streets after the moratorium fell took on a greater symbolic meaning than simply protesting the death of Mike Brown, the black teenager shot by police a week earlier. It was about not being told what to do; about resisting the might of the state.

Starting at 8:30 p.m. self-appointed ‘peacekeepers’ who wanted to avoid confrontation stopped trying to convince others to follow the curfew, and began filtering out. The vast majority of demonstrators did the same, leaving the streets to small bands of protestors determined not to give in to the demands of law enforcement officials.

At midnight the police began to ready themselves. At 12:30 the confrontation began.

TIME Crime

Echoes of History Resound in Ferguson, Mo. Unrest

Frustration in a St Louis suburb after the shooting of a black teen has led to violence. But the roots of the anger are embedded in the past

The death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. has once again raised questions about the use of excessive force by law enforcement.

But on a broader scale, it’s brought back to America’s attention the often fraught relationship between law enforcement and the communities they police – especially when those communities are largely impoverished, and mostly African-American.

A look at the history of race-related unrest in the U.S. — from the 1919 race riots in Chicago to Los Angeles’ infamous Rodney King riots in 1992 — shows that what is playing out on the streets of Ferguson is just the latest chapter in a long and troubled story.

TIME weather

California Is the State of Emergencies

Mudslides, drought, fires and flooding have made the most populous state in the Union a difficult place to live this year

Seven months ago, California’s historic drought prompted governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.

As the farmland-rich Central Valley remained parched, wildfires ravaged Northern and Southern California. Elsewhere in the state, mudslides washed away homes. Then there was a water main break that wasted up to 20 million gallons of water and flooded the UCLA campus.

There’s simply no way around it: California — the most populous state in the Union — is going through some tough times.

TIME infectious diseases

The Protective Suits Helping Doctors Treat Ebola Victims

While people rely on doctors to stop the Ebola outbreaks in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, doctors rely on suits to protect them.

There’s only one thing standing between caregivers and the Ebola virus in the patients they treat: suits. Or more formally, Personal Protection Equipment suits (PPEs). They resemble Hazmat suits, of the kind workers once used to clean up the Chernobyl chemical disaster area almost 30 years ago.

The suits cover every part of the body, but as Dr. William Fischer of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill explains, if doctors don’t follow all the steps in putting the equipment on and then taking them off, they could accidentally contract the virus.

TIME Sports

Nike, Apple, and Coke: LeBron James is a Global Brand

LeBron James has transcended NBA professional to become a global powerhouse

From the very outset of his career, LeBron James has sought to be more than one of the world’s best basketball players — he has tried to be a global icon and a billionaire athlete.

He hasn’t yet achieved the latter, but there can be no doubt that LeBron James is a global brand.

This is how LeBron James the athlete partnered with a number of prominent companies like Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola to earn cred as LeBron James, The Businessman.

 

 

TIME celebrities

How I Made My First Million: Richard Branson

The tycoon's journey to a million started from an unlikely source: The Exorcist

British business tycoon Richard Branson is living proof that with enough money, the sky’s the limit. And sometimes not even the sky: his Virgin Group launched a business called Virgin Galactic, which plans to carry wealthy “space tourists” all the way into orbit.

Worth an estimated $5 billion, Branson has used his fortune not just to indulge in expensive hobbies but also to fund a host of humanitarian initiatives.

So how did he make his first million way back when? Believe it or not, there’s a connection to the 1973 horror film The Exorcist.

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