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Living Out Loud

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Living Out Loud

When Bob Dylan speaks.
Cornel  West
Cornel West More by this author
Mar 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Some entertainers are blessed to be profound teachers. I think of the genius of Bob Dylan. Dylan came to mind not long ago when I was at the airport on my way to Germany for my daughter’s birthday. I was at the gate talking to Mom on the cell when I noticed a brother patiently waiting to approach me. When I hung up, he came over and, with a sweet sincerity, said, “Professor West, my name is Winston, and I’ve only wanted to meet two people in my life, Frederick Douglass and you. I’ll never meet Frederick, but thank God today I can meet you.”

“Well, thank you, my dear brother,” I said. “That’s a mighty compliment.”

“I don’t want to take up too much of your time, professor,” Winston went on to say, “but I do have to tell you this: I’ve played drums for Bob Dylan for years. We travel the world together, and sometimes your name comes up. Both Bob and I love and respect you. Once, when I mentioned you to Bob, he said something I’ll never forget. ‘Cornel West,’ said Dylan, ‘is a man who lives his life out loud.’”

“Lord have mercy!” I said. “I’ve never heard that formulation before. Tell Brother Dylan that I love him as well, and that even though he doesn’t know me personally, he sure-enough knows my heart.”

Dylan’s heart rests in his vocation. He is a white bluesman par excellence. His voice is born out of that vocation, informed by a vision rooted in reaching and teaching as many people as possible.

About Author
Cornel  West
Educator and philosopher Dr. Cornel West is the Class of 1943 University Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. Known as one of America’s most gifted, provocative, and important public intellectuals, Dr. We Continue reading