Cornel West: The journey from superficial to substantial

Activist spoke to SU students and community members about the new youth movement and how revolutionary change must begin with young people.

Distinguished civil rights activist Cornel West called for youth involvement in political movements Tuesday night during a speech in Goldstein Auditorium.

“I hope I say something that unsettles you, that unnerves you, that un-houses you,” West began his talk, which was sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha and the Student African American Society.

Throughout the speech, West encouraged young people and urged those in the audience to “think for themselves,” combat complacency of mind, and “make the journey from superficial to substantial.”

West' speech aimed to tackle the question, "What is the new youth movement?" especially at a time where it seems there's nothing for young people to fight for.

As a tactic to challenge young people to keep the new youth movement alive, he addressed a wide range of topics. He touched on social and racial inequalities, economic disparities and wealth, and President Obama and the U.S. criminal justice system, which he called “racist.”

"The slogan of the new youth movement is, 'I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,' " he said.

An hour before West's lecture started, a line of students, faculty, and community members already occupied the lobby of the Schine Student Center.

Broadcast digital journalism graduate student Cherish McMillan and broadcast digital journalism senior  Sophia Botchway both said they were eager to hear West’s wise words and frank speech.

Alfred University student Cameron Robinson traveled three hours just to hear how West felt about college students.

When the event started, the audience welcomed West with applause and a standing ovation. And West engaged his audience throughout the evening, initiating call and response interactions.

West ended his discussion by challenging his audience to “be great instead of being successful” and to stop adjusting to injustice.

“The beautiful thing about the New Youth Movement is that it comes from every color, every culture, every civilization, every sexual orientation," he said. "It cuts across the board.”

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Very well written! This must

Very well written! This must have been a great experience. West is a living legend!

Great article! I love it!

Great article! I love it! Keep up the good work... Its time for change...

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