Posted by: Khepera | Monday, 2 November 2009

Dr. Cornel West Speaks on Spike Lee’s Comments @ Tyler Perry

This raises a long simmering issue which has plagued many aspects of our community from scholars & artists to musicians and *leaders* — how do we, in a positive/noncontentious way, critique & engage one another around our work, our collective responsibilities, the maintenance/upliftment of our culture, and nurture, in the process, as Dr. West suggests?…and we should be keenly mindful of the distinction he asserts between “succe$$” and “greatness.” This is crucially important in the discernment of value(s), and endurance of one’s work over time.

We live in a highly competitive society, which places contention above cooperation.  Those who were around remember when there was only one flavor, one *representative* allowed overall, or in a given niche.  As our presence multiplied, there was room for Flip Wilson(Geraldine) AND Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Moms Mabley AND Redd Foxx.  But, when Sidney Poitier was the ONLY, a different level of care & responsibility applied. Does that mean we should allow members of our community to run us down, to belittle or brutalize segments of our community — as rappers have done to our women?  No.  Is Dr. West’s proscription for sensitive dialogue called for in all cases?  Perhaps not, but it should at least be the FIRST choice, the first effort, before we step to other more serious means.

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