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Cornel West Talk: Prophetic Christian Witness

I'm just starting to read Cornel West's "Democracy Matters," as I'm still seeking out progressive voices from the African American Christian community. I confess as a white Christian, black Christian authors have not been prominent in my past church settings -- progressive black authors non-existant. But as I mentioned in an earlier posting, I suspect that there is a lot of good thinking and writing by this community of mostly politically progressive orthodox Christians that white churches are missing. Please post any recommendations.

For starters, here are excerpts from a Cornel West speech given around the last Democratic convention:


"I speak as a Christian, which puts me in solidarity on a very abstract level with 80% of American citizens.

[laughter]

But my kind of prophetic Christian witness makes it difficult for me to stay in many of the churches because I am suffocated by the narrow conceptions of what it is to be prophetic in a Christian church. But I am clear about the Jewish creation of the prophetic, which is the courage, the care and struggle for justice.

Of Micah and Josiah and Amos and a host of others. That again cuts across party, it cuts across nations, it cuts across sex, race, gender and sexual orientation. It sets a high standard.

And justice has to do with what? How do we keep track of the least of these? The most vulnerable? Those who are marginalized? Those who are demeaned? Those Malcolm X used to call “are catching hell, the most hell”. Decrepit schools. Inadequate health care. Unavailable child care. Not enough jobs with a living wage.

We can go on and, on and on. We need not so much a policy, what we need is a democratic awakening that accents a vision...."
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