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The Greene Space event: Cornel West and Randy Weston – Jazzmen in the World of Ideas!

Text by Augusta Palmer   

Photo by Scott Smith

It’s rare to have the opportunity to listen to a conversation that is deeply intellectual, profoundly spiritual, and laced throughout with laughter. The Greene Space event “Cornel West and Randy Weston: Jazzmen in the World of Ideas,” ably moderated by Terrance McKnight, was just such a conversation. A lot of ground was covered: the nights a Harvard-educated West slept in Central Park because he was “broke as the 10 Commandments”; the inspiration to become an “Africanist in every sense” that Weston received from his Marcus Garvey-inspired father as well as his encounters with Morocco’s Gnawa, who once put him into a trance that lasted for 2 weeks; the impact of the prison-industrial complex; and the current prevalence of what West referred to as “the 11th Commandment: Do not get caught!”  

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