Watch: Cornel West Gets Real About His Beef With Ta-Nehisi Coates and Barack Obama: ‘We Got to Keep Standards Up’

As a result of Cornel West’s public criticism of Ta-Nehisi Coates in the New York Times last month, we at The Root asked the good doctor over to our studios to have a word (this being Cornel West, many words) with me and senior reporter Terrell J. Starr.

West is releasing the 25th-anniversary edition of his most popular work, Race Matters, and came through posthaste (not hate).


We planned to release an edited version of our nearly one-hour conversation in January, but with all heck breaking loose this weekend around West and Coates (with a little Jelani Cobb thrown in) after the publication of West’s op-ed for The Guardian titled, “Ta-Nehisi Coates Is the Neoliberal Face of the Black Freedom Struggle,” we wanted to share that part of the conversation about why he criticized Coates, straight from the source. See the video above.

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About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.