Around the world the election of Barack Obama to the White House was seen as a watershed moment for race relations in America.
The first black man to be president was taken as the symbol of a new post-racial era.
But six years on, with tensions between black communities and the police running sky high, is anyone still talking about a post racial America?
HARDtalk speaks to Cornel West, writer, academic and fierce critic of President Obama and asks why the race debate turned sour.
He tells Stephen Sackur: “I hate Barack Obama’s policies. I hate his deeds. I hate his cowardice. I hate his acts. I love him as a human being.”
Professor Cornel West has taught at Princeton and Harvard and is now at the Union Theological Seminary in New York.
For decades he has written and spoken publicly about racism in the United States and says he is a “hater of injustice”.
Recently he was involved in protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the killing of black teenager Michael Brown.
A civil rights investigation has also been launched into the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died after being restrained by a white police officer in New York.
Prof West says African Americans were looking to President Obama for “moral conviction” not “calculation”.
SOURCE: BBC HARDtalk