The Corner

Cornel West Slams Al Sharpton: ‘You Don’t Need to Be Center Stage, Brother’

Professor Cornel West spoke some serious truth to fellow African-American activist Al Sharpton, accusing him of seeking the limelight while suppressing authentic young voices in the black community.

West spoke on Monday at Miami Dade College while on tour for his newest book, Black Prophetic Fire. “This book is in many ways a love letter to the younger generation, because I’m passing from the scene,” he said. “I know it, I don’t need to be center stage.”

“Try to tell that to brother Al Sharpton, you know?” West continued, to laughter and applause. “You don’t need to be center stage, brother. There’s something called grassroots leadership, indigenous leadership, it needs a different context.”

“Get out of the way of the camera and let the young folks speak,” he said, as applause continued. “Get out of the way of the camera, let them tell their truths.”

West has attacked Sharpton before, saying in 2012 that he and other black MSNBC hosts “sold their souls” in order to gain access to the Obama administration — another frequent target of West’s criticisms.

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