As February commemorates the annual celebration of Black History Month, many are using the next four weeks to remember the struggles of our ancestors that allowed for Black people to prosper in society today and work towards building an even brighter future for tomorrow.
However, often opinionated rap star Kanye West wants to change the way we acknowledge it altogether by switching the name to “Black Future Month” — others, like Dr. Cornel West, think he may be a bit off in his approach.
Speaking exclusively with TMZ in front of L.A.’s Sunset Plaza, Dr. Cornel gave Ye his props as a “genius” but also added that he’s “confused in a whole lot of ways, too.” The former college professor at Harvard and Princeton went on to explain just how wrong the “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” emcee is when it comes to his analysis of Black History Month, stating, “Kanye should recognize as an artist that every performance is the authorizing of a future in the midst of a present trying to recover the best of the past.” He went on to educate Ye even further, adding that, “Black History is not about the past! It’s about the past in the present that can authorize a better future — you get that in Kanye’s music, but you don’t get it in his rhetoric!”
Here’s more of what Cornel West had to say about Ye’s “Black Future Month” comments below, via TMZ:
“There’s a sense in which an artist [can be] so much more profound than his rhetoric. It’s true; when I hear “Jesus Walks” that he wrote with Rhymefest, what do you get — rich history of people! [It’s] Black folk moving into the present with a vision for the future.
Three dimensions of time: past, present, future — they all go together. So Kanye think you can have ‘Black Future Month’ without having a ‘Black History Month’? Tell that brother to get off the symbolic crack pipe and be true to his own artistic genius!”
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Dr. West did agree when told that hip-hop vet T-Pain believes there shouldn’t be a Black History Month and that it should be celebrated all year long, but feels it’s required because white supremacy is “still operating.”
Watch Dr. Cornel West give Kanye West a Black History lesson below, and let us know which one of the Wests you’re siding with in this debate:
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