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The first outing of Cornel West and Kelvin Shawn Sealey’s Obsidian Society, Restoring Hope, features interviews with what the Harvard savant considers a myriad of racially conscious artists, politicians, and business folk from Harry Belafonte to Patricia Williams. The book claims to aim at the future of African-Americans and calls for courageous leadership and action in a public-relations democracy. Sen. Bill Bradley, the only Euro-American interviewee in the book, gives a burning commentary on white-skin privilege. Haki Madhubuti’s tale of becoming a black African is enough to rouse the zealot in any conscious activist. But the book’s title is something of a misnomer. Save the thirtysomething Winston Marsalis, West and his friends talk more about young people than to them. Without any young African-Americans’ perspective on the future of the black race, the subject seems a bit abstract. Maybe West will get their input today at 2 p.m. at George Washington University’s Marvin Center Ballroom,
800 21st St. NW. $5. (202) 429-9272. (Reginold Royston)