Community & Government

Perpetuate Black Love

Angela Davis, Cornel West, and Jelani Cobb discuss how to live your commitment to liberation and justice through Black Love. Share your skills and talents, engage in honest self-critique, and remember that you are called to service.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Lift Your Voice • Do Not Be Disheartened, The Fight Is Long.

Seven preeminent Black thought leaders share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future.

Sign Up

Preview

CREW: Nice and quiet, . And-- CREW: All right, we're 101, take 3. CREW: Yep. - As a teacher I understand that people learn under conditions that satisfy their own aspirations and their own yearnings, their own proclivities, their own talents. And therefore, I rarely will tell a person this is what you need to do. My response is to ask, what do you most enjoy doing yourself? And how can you find a way to relate that to collective struggles? If you are a poet, use your poetry to help us expand this movement. If you are interested, as I've always been, in philosophy, use your training in philosophy to ask questions about the nature of this society we inhabit and to try to figure out paths toward a more habitable future. If you like doing organizing, that is what you should do. I like to think that it is possible to make a commitment to these movements for liberation and the struggle for justice, a commitment that may last a lifetime. And the only way one can be certain that that commitment has a long life is to do something that is fulfilling, that you find pleasurable, that also brings you joy. How can we imagine a future where racism will have been defeated, a future without war, a future in which the needs of every human being on the planet will be fulfilled, but also a future in which we respect the lives of non-human animals, a future in which our planet is safe from the poisonous chemicals that have polluted so much of the world? We imagine ourselves as existing with our yearnings, with our aspirations, on a long continuum that stretches back into the past and stretches forward into the future. I like to sometimes pause and ask myself, what might a Black woman under conditions of slavery have hoped for 150 years ago, 200 years ago? How do we represent the materialization of her desires, of her yearnings? I think it is so important for us to try to extricate ourselves from the idea that the measure of value is one human life, and that, if it is not achieved in our lifetimes, it is not important. If people who were enslaved held those ideas, they would not have struggled so much. They were struggling for us. They were struggling for the possibility of a new world. If we imagine the ways in which people 100 years from now, 200 years from now, will be thankful to us for doing the work that we are doing today, then that means that we will have played a part in the production of that future and that we will be spiritually present in that future. That, to me, means that our goal, our primary goals, are to create new arenas for struggle, to guarantee that it continues from one generation to the next. And certainly, during this era that is often referred to as the era of Black Lives Matter, we've once again witnessed the ways in which this desire, this collective desire for liberation, can come forth and can animate not only Black people and people of color, but white people as wel...

About the Instructor

From critical race theory to the 1619 Project, Black intellectuals are reshaping conversations on race in America. Now seven of those preeminent voices share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future. Gain a foundational understanding of the history of white supremacy and discover a path forward through the limitless capacity and resilience of Black love.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Angela Davis, Cornel West, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Sherrilyn Ifill, Jelani Cobb, and John McWhorter

Seven preeminent Black thought leaders share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future.

Explore the Class
Sign Up