Modesto, CA -- Princeton Professor Cornel West presented his speech at Modesto Junior College as part of the 10th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration about keeping King’s legacy alive through self-examination, love, and compassion, Modbee reported.
He emphasized about staying away from the materialistic culture and encouraged the audience to examine life as Socrates proposed, but to feel love and compassion as Jesus and early prophets did.
"Martin Luther King said, 'Let freedom ring.' He didn't say 'bling bling,'" West commented in his speech.
"We must learn how to make the world safe for the legacy of Martin Luther King and his secular allies," West said at Modesto's King-Kennedy Center before his speech. "We don't want to be comfortable."
He also addressed the youth telling them to know your history, "and not just the greatest hits of the struggle."
West has taught at Harvard, Yale and Union Theological Seminary, and has written various books, “Race Matter” being the most recognized as his best seller.
At the King-Kennedy Center, many of West’s fans gathered to listen to his speech.
Grant Louis Ashley from Stockton who was waiting to receive his autograph said, "He's not snobbish. He's very embraceable. He's very much like a next-door neighbor type. He's not intellectually intimating.”
He said he felt honored to meet West, a man he calls a modern-day W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington.
West also received much praises from the students as well, "He's inspirational and a well-known professor of religion, and he so happens to be African-American," said Racquell Lee, 18, of Stockton. "He represents our culture well."