Cornel Ronald West (born June 2, 1953) is an American scholar, public intellectual, sociologist, critic, pastor, and civil rights activist. Formerly a professor at Harvard University, currently West is a professor of Religion and director of African American Studies at Princeton. West is known for his combination of political and moral insight and criticism, and his contribution to the post-1960s civil rights movement. The bulk of his work focuses upon the role of race, gender, and class in American society and the means by which people act and react to their “radical conditionedness”. West draws intellectual contributions from such diverse traditions as the African American Baptist Church, Marxism, pragmatism, transcendentalism, and Anton Chekhov … (full text).
Cornel Ronald West – USA
Listen his video: Race Matters, from about 4.50 min to 52 min.
He says: “I begin with the notion that we are all cracked vessels, meaning that as vanishing organisms in space and time, we have fears, insecurities, anxieties, sometimes even inner demons with which we all have to come to terms. And given that humanness of each and every one of us, we’re all part of a certain family, community, society, culture, history, which is shot through with different forms of xenophobia. This is what, in part, human history has been. So the question is going to be: what kind of courage do we have to examine those prejudices that we do have in order to become more decent and compassionate human beings?” … (full interview text).
On Philosophical Literature, May 26, 2008.
Kevin Powell, author, commentator and political activist; the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, President, National Rainbow/Push Coalition; Susan Taylor, former Editorial Director, Essence magazine; the Rev. Al Sharpton, President, National Action Network; Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference; Kimberly Crenshaw, Columbia and UCLA law professor; Roland Martin, CNN Analyst; Makani Themba-Nixon, Executive Director, Praxis Project; Dr. Cornel West; Bev Smith, National Radio Talk Show Host … have been invited to participate at the recently held Second State of the Black World Conference SOBWC, on May 5, 2008.
Booknotes/the Cornel West Reader.
West’s work has been described as a “polemical weapon that attempts to transform linguistic, social, cultural, and political tradition to increase the scope of individual development and democratic actions.” West’s writing, speaking, and teaching weaves together the American traditions of the Baptist Church, transcendentalism, socialism, and pragmatism … (full page).
Listen to his 8 minutes audio on USHMM.
He says also: “Visionary leadership is predicated on a leap of faith, and a labor of love,” West intoned. “A Pascalian wager on the mental and moral capacities of common people” – his gentle baritone slowed to a hush – “and a sacrificial example of genuine love that encourages people’s confidence in themselves and those who have the privilege to serve them” … (full text).
And he says: You can’t lead people if you don’t love people.
You can’t save people if you don’t serve people.
So the questions are:
What is the depth of your love? and
What is the quality of your service as
you go out into the world?
Dr. Cornel Ronald West … (full text).
… “In honor of Black History Month, we’re honoring one of the foremost leaders and thinkers in Black America today: Dr. Cornel West. Dr. Cornel West is an Ivy League-educated professor of religion and African-American studies at Princeton University. A renown, controversial philosopher, orator, scholar and activist, Dr. West has written close to 20 profoundly influential books on the topics of race, politics, culture and religion, including the best-selling book, Race Matters” … (full text).
listen to him with Charlie Rose.
West appears in both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He plays one of the elders, Councilor West, who serves on the council of Zion. West’s character advises that “comprehension is not a requisite of cooperation.” In addition, West provides philosophical commentary on all three Matrix films in The Ultimate Matrix Collection along with integral theorist Ken Wilber. West also made multiple appearances on the popular political show Real Time with Bill Maher. West was also featured on Starbucks Coffee Cups with The Way I See It #284 quoted- “You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people, if you don’t serve the people”. (popular culture).
Cornel West’s family moved to Sacramento, California when he was three years old. When his third grade teacher tried to force Cornel to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, he punched the pregnant woman in the face. They expelled him. “He was very violent as a young kid,” explained his brother Clifton. As a high schooler, Cornel was philosophically attracted to the Black Panthers, but couldn’t join due to the Panthers’ insistence on atheism … (full text).
… “Cornel is foremost a philosopher,” said University of Maryland political scientist Ronald Walters, who first met West during the planning of the Million Man March in 1995. “He has one of the quickest minds among scholars I know and puts together unique perspectives on issues,” Walters said … (full text).
… West credited his time at Harvard with fueling a reexamination of his world views; over those three years, he surveyed his own thoughts and actions and pursued a rigorous study of new ideas. In class, he developed a passionate interest on the effects of time and culture on philosophical thought and historical actions. Outside of class, he participated in a “breakfast program” group in the Massachusetts village of Jamaica Plain, took weekly trips to Norfolk State Prison, and worked with the Black Student Organization, which was responsible for the 1972 takeover of Massachusetts Hall to both protest Harvard’s investments in Gulf Oil and show support for liberation forces operating in the southwest African country of Angola. But West attributed his greatest intellectual influences on political matters to a variety of philosophers such as nineteenth-century Serbian political writer Svetozar Markovic. He continued, however, to recognize the limits of “book knowledge” and to value dedication in action … (full text).
Cornel West has been called America’s “Public
Intellectual”, aptly describing his relaxed demeanor and easy accessibility. He avoids the jargon that oftentimes separates the scholar from the world he or she is supposed to describe … (full text).
… The recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees and a National Book Award, he is a longtime member of the Democratic Socialists of America, for which he now serves as Honorary Chair. He is also a co-chair of the Tikkun Community and the Network of Spiritual Progressives. West is also much sought-after as a speaker, blurb-writer, and honorary chair. He is, however, not without detractors. Critics, most notably The New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier, have charged him with opportunism, crass showmanship and lack of scholarly seriousness. Hoover Institute research fellow Peter Schweizer wrote in his book Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy that West lives in a mostly white neighborhood and earns over $300,000 per year as a professor. West remains a widely cited scholar in the popular press, in African-American studies and in studies of black theology, although his work as an academic philosopher has been almost completely ignored (with the exception of his early history of American pragmatism, The American Evasion of Philosophy) … (full text).
on the greatest tt, by Ricardo Daniels, May 28, 2008.
written on NWAnews: COLBERT RETORT 13 – Stephen Colbert’s 44th birthday. Which brings us to the Word of the Day: Santa Clausification. “Santa Clausification” is what Princeton professor Cornel West calls turning a real-life figure of history into a bland cultural symbol. — Santa Clausified today, Easter Bunnified tomorrow – Let’s remember, Nation, that real people have flaws and complexities. Let’s give people back the right to be wrong. — Eliot Spitzification … (full text).
Connections, June 2008;