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Bakari Kitwana Asks:  Cornel West

What challenges face Black Leadership under a Barack Obama Presidency?

We caught up with Dr. Cornel West in Cleveland, Ohio last week in the midst of his crisscrossing the state to help get out the early vote for Barack Obama. Dr. West has been publicly critical of the Obama campaign and how Blacks might fare under an Obama presidency—given the tenor of the campaign trail that increasingly assuages white fear and anxiety of a Black president.

Dr. West has been particularly outspoken about Obama’s strategic omission of Dr. Martin Luther King’s name from his nomination acceptance speech at the DNC. Here West talks about the fallout from his critical comments in August, his mixture of support and criticism, and his views on what an Obama presidency will mean to Black American Leadership.

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Cornel West is University Professor at Princeton University in the Center for African American Studies. The author of the 1993 groundbreaking Race Matters, his forthcoming book out next week is entitled Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom (Hay House, 2008).

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