Nihilism in Black America

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In the Cornel West article "Nihilism in Black America" he argues that the dilemma of African Americans is nihilism. This is somewhat parallel to W.E.B Dubois's Talented Tenth speech in 1903. Nihilism, according to West, is the lived experience of coping with a life of horrifying meaninglessness, hopelessness, and lovelessness. African Americans are threatened by the lack of hope and the “absence of meaning” in their lives. Dubois's philosophy not only shows nihilism in the black race during this era but it also shows the same lack of progression in the black community in 2011. It reminds us of the lack of harmonious solidarity as well as the lack of intellect, high morals and spiritual insight affecting the Black masses today. His piece brings up an array of valid points on why the black community is its own worst enemy when it comes to building a new infrastructure of educational, historical and financial knowledge of self like the Jewish, Asian and Indian cultures. Dubois says “It is the problem of developing the best of this race that they may guide the mass away from the contamination and death of the worst, in their own and other races. Now the training of men is a difficult and intricate task.”(Dubois 1) I personally think that the contamination of most blacks today is from out dated teachings, some churches, politicians and most importantly, the entertainment business. The media influence blacks to glorify street life and poverty. If we had more rappers and media outlets talking about things with substance in the community like political issues, understanding our prominence and up lifting the culture, I think that people would start to be moved or shifted into the right directions. Dubois states “School houses do not teach themselves - piles of brick and mortar and machinery do not send out men. It is the trained, living human soul, cultivated and
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