Cornel West, the provocative professor-pundit-author who offers left-leaning commentary on race and class in books and on TV, will speak twice in Charlotte next month.
At 7 p.m. on Sept. 17, he’ll speak on “Bearing Witness to Love and Justice” at the third annual Gantt Symposium, sponsored by the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. Following West’s lecture, he will participate in a Q&A session moderated by Gantt, a former mayor of Charlotte. The event will be in the Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts, 430 S. Tryon St. Tickets, $15-$25, can be purchased at the Gantt Center, 551 S. Tryon St. or at www.ganttcenter.org.
West will also speak at 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Charlotte’s First Presbyterian Church, 200 West Trade St. His subject at the church’s Willard Lecture event will be “Justice: What Love Looks Like in Public.” There will also be a reception at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available online at www.firstpres-charlotte.org.
The historic uptown church tapped West because “the intersection of race and justice is important,” said the Rev. Pen Peery, senior pastor at First Presbyterian. “It’s a way we can provide ministry to the city we’ve been in the middle of for 195 years.”
The Tulsa-born West, 62, is a professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He’s also a professor emeritus at Princeton University and has taught at Harvard, Yale and the University of Paris.
West appears frequently on CNN and on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” His 20 books include “The Radical King,” about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and “Black Prophetic Fire.”
The son of a Baptist minister, West is a sometime critic from the left of President Barack Obama. He recently endorsed U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist from Vermont, for the Democratic nomination for president.