On October 11, 2014, Cornel West delivered the keynote address to nearly 600 students at the regional Leadership & Social Justice Conference, hosted at Saint Mary’s College of California. The conference occurred two days before West was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, during a demonstration to protest the killing of young Black men by White police officers, as in the case of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson. Speaking of the students, West said, "I would like to see these precious young people commit themselves to lives of integrity, honesty and decency, where they are vigilant against all forms of evil—White supremacists, male supremacists, anti-Jewish, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and homophobia. Live lives never losing sight of the humanity of other people. Be true to the Lasallian ideal that says each one of us is made in the image and likeness of God. We need to love that image in each and every one of us human beings, wherever and whoever we are." Offered here is a transcript of West address rich with the intertextuality of current events, blues and soul music, Greek philosophy, theology, and politics.


A new version adhering to APA guidelines replaced the original version on 12/01/2015.