On the first day of Black History Month, Kanye West declared, “February is now Black Future Month.”
Ye first proposed a rebrand during his “Drink Champs” interview in November. “I need Black Future Month. I need Black Possibility Month,” Ye told hosts N.O.R.E. & DJ EFN.
Distinguished philosopher and activist Dr. Cornel West addressed Kanye’s rebrand. He said although Ye is “a genius in a way … he’s confused in a whole lot of ways too.”
A reporter for TMZ quoted Kanye’s “Drink Champs” remarks to Dr. Cornel West. His response was empathic, “Oh no, Kanye’s wrong.”
He then explained that, as an artist, Kanye should recognize the value of Black History Month. “Every performance is the authorizing of a future, in the midst of the present, trying to recover the best of the past.” He added, “Black History Month is not about the past. It’s about the past in the present that can authorize a better future.”
Dr. West says Ye only understands the concept in his music and used the example of “Jesus Walks,” Ye’s 2004 hit, co-written by Rhymefest. “There’s a sense in which his artistry is so much more profound than his rhetoric,” he added.
Furthermore, he said, “If Kanye thinks you can have Black Future Month without Black History Month, tell that brother to get off the symbolic crack pipe and be true to his own artistic genius.”
Dr. Cornell West Explains The Importance of Black History Month
He also responded to T-Pain’s comments that Black people should be “part of history not just one month of it.”
West agreed, however, he said it was wishful thinking because “white supremacy is still in operation.” He explained, “As long as white supremacy is around, you gone have the need to stress Black love, Black dignity Black history … those things that are being excluded and rendered silent.” he concluded, “So, in that sense, it’s a nice wish but we’ve got to come to terms with reality.”