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Cornel West Race matters Cornel is a part a very small part of a great and grand tradition A tradition of struggle a struggle for decency and dignity A struggle for freedom and democracy And he decided a long time ago back in Sacramento California where he grew up that he wanted to live and die as part of this tradition of struggle Those who were willing to give so much and love so deeply that they could cut radically against the grain in order to hold up a bloodstained banner of freedom and democracy Cornel West said think of a Harriet Tubman Think of Ida B Wells Barnett Frederick Douglass and A Philip Randolph Marcus Garvey Martin King Fannie Lou Hamer Neither angels or gods but good God what human beings they are They are still with us if we keep this tradition of struggle alive And thank God for Carter G Woodson and all of his genius that he decided a long time ago that there ought to be a month to reflect not just on black history and the doings and sufferings of people of African descent but to raise the issues that being black in a civilization so deeply shaped by a vicious legacy of white supremacy For Him these issues raises the most fundamental questions of what it means to be human What kind of people are we really What kind of nation are we really What kind of persons and individuals are we really when you look at yourself closely and honestly In most human beings no matter what color they would rather evade deny and avoid that kind of question Theyd rather play the role and wear the mask and muddle through and skate rather than struggle Thats why black history is always inseparable but not reducible to human history to American history New World history Carter G Woodson wanted us to look at the world through a
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