By Benji Hart
When Cornel West called out Ta-Nehisi Coates for representing the “neoliberal wing” of the black freedom struggle “that sounds militant about white supremacy but renders black fightback invisible” in The Guardian at the end of 2017, his essay received a fair amount of backlash. While some called his actions divisive, still others claimed the crux of his argument—that Coates “narrow racial tribalism and myopic political neoliberalism has no place for keeping track of Wall street greed, US imperial crimes or black elite indifference to poverty” —was flat-out wrong. West claims that Coates benefited from “a black neoliberal president” whose black respectability “‘opened a market’ for a new wave of black pundits, intellectuals, writers and journalists.”
By Matt Delmont | African American Intellectual History Society
Praxis Center is pleased to collaborate with the African American Intellectual History Society to present featured blog posts from their “#ScholarsRespond to a Vision for Black Lives” online forum. Organized by AAIHS Editors Keisha N. Blain and Ibram Kendi, other participating scholars include Gerald Horne, Duchess Harris, Peniel Joseph, Clarence Lang, Trimiko Melancon, Megan Ming Francis, Hasan Jeffries, and Matthew Delmont. These leading national scholars offer their compelling insights in response to the Movement for Black Lives’ (M4BL) vision statement released on August 1, 2016. Together, these essays provide a platform for serious engagement with the six policy demands presented in M4BL’s vision statement: 1) end the war on black people; 2) reparations; 3) invest-divest; 4)economic justice; 5) community control; and 6) political power.