Cornel West: Hope Is Spiritual Armor for Fighting Righteous Battles

America today has normalized crimes, both physical and spiritual, says Cornel West—and being indifferent to that is the worst of all evils.

There is a spiritual war happening in the United States, and to be silent is to be complicit, says Dr. Cornel West. He takes his starting point at the elimination of arts programs under Reagan in the 1980s, and traces how that lack of spiritual nourishment has created a society of solitary nomads where once there was community. It has created consumers where once there were citizens. What must fill that emptiness is hope, West suggests—and hope not as a wistful wish for a better future, but as an enactment of a better future through action. Quoting from some of philosophy and music's greatest thinkers and doers, West presents a lyrical lecture on the role of hope in the battle over the soul of Americans, and American democracy.

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Cornel West: Hope Is an Action We Can All Take

Cornel West talks about everyday poets, being the best of the human species, hope, what wokeness really means, and revolution.

Institutions—governmental, religious, financial, even revolution itself—have a way of turning stale and sour. "Thank God for the history of the heretics and the blasphemers. That's my crowd," says Dr. Cornel West. Quoting from some of history and literature's greatest thinkers and doers, West presents a poetic lecture on the role of hope in America's past and its future, and how to make your voice matter.

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What Kept Coltrane’s Horn Blowing

The great musicians—like Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan—understand life in all its bristling glory: find your passion, never leave it, and become a prisoner to the hope that it matters.

Cornel West’s Catastrophic Love

In the face of cruelty and sorrow, there is a form of love that can propel people past feelings of bitterness and revenge and into the desire to promote justice—for Cornel West this force is embodied in the blues.