Virtual Moving History – Foolproof Performing Arts presents Cornel West
“…we’re in a situation now where we need to know what has been bequeathed to us at the highest level; what we look like at our best. And Socratic questioning and prophetic witness, in part, remind us what has so deeply shaped us…“
Dr. Cornel West, invited to Town Hall Seattle in 2004 by Foolproof Performing Arts’ American Voices lecture series, riles up an audience with a wide-ranging talk about what America stands to lose if it can’t maintain the art of dialogue. West had just published Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism, which imparts its themes to his lecture: the rise of totalitarianism, anti-intellectualism, and free market fundamentalism in America, and how the moral and economic negative feedback systems created by that trend affect citizens’ ability to enter into constructive dialogue with one another. Both thunderously rousing and hyper-articulate in his oratorical style, West encourages the audience to refuse the polarizing, macho, loud logic of dogma; to stay open to learning from the ambiguities and frustrations we experience in an intellectually engaged debate, and to respect the wisdom one can gain from the emotionally mature commitments of “prophetic witness” and Socratic interrogation of our lives.
West also speaks to America’s lack of moral consistency, misleading rhetoric from mediocre leadership, normalization of political corruption, and bribery, and the political left’s need to establish a more functional working relationship with communities of faith… achievable only through an ability to engage in intellectually malleable, non-dogmatic spiritual discourse.
To say so much – captivating, researched, hilarious, and profoundly real, all at once – requires an incredible art, that deserves to be celebrated. We hope you can tune in!
** CONTENT WARNING: Dr. West’s allusions to racial trauma in this talk include references to racially motivated violence, and several iterations of a particular racial slur, primarily in his discussion of the social ripple effects 9/11 caused in America **
This recording is available through Seattle Municipal Archives’ Seattle Channel digital collection.
About [Virtual] Moving History
2nd & 4th Sundays, 4:30–5:30pm PT
MIPoPS is a nonprofit whose mission is to assist archives, libraries, and other organizations with the conversion of analog video recordings to digital formats according to archival best practices.
In order to adhere to social distancing best practices, MIPoPS is proud to partner with the Northwest Film Forum to bring you a weekly series of archival videotape documenting a diverse history in Seattle. Featuring a variety of material and topics, this series will curate a set of clips each second and fourth Sunday of the month to provide comic relief, local histories, music, poetry, and stage performance recordings, and much more.
MIPoPS hopes this series will educate and entertain viewers during this time of uncertainty and isolation.