Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A New West

Commentator Tavis Smiley is barnstorming the country with his new book, "A Covenant With Black America," which fell to No. 3 on the New York Times Bestseller's list after holding down the No. 1 spot for the last couple of weeks.

The tour for the book, which lies out a national plan of action for African Americans, has produced a new star pundit. He is Eddie Glaude, 39, a professor of African American and religious studies at Princeton University, who once studied under Cornel West, Princeton professor of religion and intellectual superstar. Now the two are colleagues and co-editors of Glaude's newest volume, "African American Religious Thought: An Anthology."

It was clear, from his appearance with Smiley on the Philadelphia stop of the tour at the New Covenant Church in Mt Airy last week, that Glaude has also picked up West's penchant for dynamic rhetoric.

The civil right struggle, he said, has made his generation's "political aspirations atrophy...People are saying, 'I wish we had Martin,' instead of looking to ourselves...What makes ["The Covenant for Black America"] so powerful is that it begins with a profound trust of everyday people."

That means me. Where'd I put my marching boots?