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Dr. Cornel West visits Chicago to talk about ‘The Radical King’

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Almost everyone would agree that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man who worked tirelessly to right many of the grave injustices that Blacks faced during the civil rights era.

However, when considering Dr. King’s legacy, many people often forget that he held some pretty radical views on everything from his staunch stance against the Vietnam War to his ideas on redistribution of wealth to eradicate poverty that some say led to his assassination in 1968.

In his new book titled The Radical King, renowned author, activist and professor Dr. Cornel West sheds light on Dr. King’s radical skew of things. Arranged thematically in four parts, the book includes 23 selections, curated and introduced by West, that illustrate King’s revolutionary vision and his crusade against global imperialism.

“Although much of America did not know the radical King — and too few know today — the FBI and U.S. government did,” West says. “They called him ‘the most dangerous man in America.’ This book unearths a radical King that we can no longer sanitize.”

According to Michael C. Dawson, professor and director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture at the University of Chicago, who will play host to Dr. West’s lecture, the timing of the book and lecture couldn’t be better.

“In the aftermath of the killings of unarmed victims Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, this winter finds us in the midst of one of the most bitter periods of racial unrest in this country’s recent history. It is fitting that, in this context, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture’s annual public lecture is being delivered by Dr. West. The topic is particularly fitting, as even the movie Selma does not fully capture the radical [nature] of Martin Luther King Jr.’s message.”

Dr. West’s lecture will take place on Sunday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel located at 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

The event is free and open to the public.

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