Dr. Cornel West returns to CSUEB

Kris Stewart,
Online and Social Media Editor

Perhaps best known for his book “Race Matters,” the philosopher, activist, and commentator Dr. Cornel West has spent four decades exploring issues of race, class, and gender in America through dozens of written works, academic lectures, and talk radio.

West will speak on the topics of equality, education, and economics in America at 7 p.m. on April 23 in the California State University, East Bay’s University Theater as part of the an ongoing CSUEB Talk series hosted by Associated Students, Inc.

After hearing West speak about leadership years ago Marc Cochran, CSUEB’s student government program coordinator, invited West to speak on campus this month.

“One of the things that kind of reached out and grabbed me was the fact that he was saying these days we find so many flaws in our leaders to the point where we incapacitate them to lead and so we can’t greatness out of them because we’re looking for flaws,” Cochran said.

Cochran hopes that this event will inspire students and remind them that everyone has flaws, but in spite of those flaws, they still have the potential to do great things in the future and be equally as influential as leaders that have come before us.

West first visited CSUEB’s campus in 2011 during a faculty strike. Signs were held that read “Fewer Classes, Higher Fees, CSU is Run by Thieves.” With a bullhorn in his hand, West spoke to a picket line during the strike in front of the university.

Video footage of the strike shows West saying, “It is international because there’s precious human beings in every corner of the globe. When you have faculty who straighten their backs up and take a stand and connect with the students and administrators then you got something special going on. That’s what’s going on here at California State University, Hayward.”

After the free event, there will be a book signing for West’s latest book “Black Prophetic Fire,” an examination of African American leaders including Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Malcolm X and Ida B. Wells.