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Dr. Cornel West and Kids for Coltrane founder Christine Passarella visited the MLK Center twice in Long Beach, NY. On September 26, 2015 they presented workshops for the community.

“King’s radical love put a premium on artistic performance and existential praxis. His sermons were performances that authorized an alternative reality to the way the world is. His living radiated a radical tenderness, subversive sweetness, and militant gentleness. He found great joy in serving others.” Excerpt from The Radical King by Dr. Cornel West

“I take my fundamental cue from John Coltrane that says there must be a priority of integrity, honesty, decency, and mastery of craft.” Dr. Cornel West

A BLUESMAN IN THE LIFE OF THE MIND, AND A JAZZMAN IN THE WORLD OF IDEAS

What a joy it was to meet Dr. Cornel West on April 16, 2013 at New York University. The topic was moral courage. Cornel West and Irshad Manji are cultural entrepreneurs who both spoke that evening. Dr. West is someone I admire for his moral courage and brilliant intellect, but until that evening I did not know he also was greatly inspired by the life and music of John Coltrane. The audience was illuminated by a discussion about power, democracy, innovation — and our individual role in all three. After the seminar, I spoke to Dr. West about the Kids for Coltrane Project in Education. The following week, I found myself dining with Dr. West discussing the importance of my the Kids for Coltrane Project, and related topics of illumination. Breathing rarefied air I will treasure the conversation and look forward to sharing more of my project with Dr. Cornel West in the future. “You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people if you don’t serve the people.” ~ Dr. Cornel West


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