Meet Dr. Cornel West

A Great American

Cornel Ronald West was born June 2, 1953 is an American philosopher, theologian, political activist, social critic, actor, and public intellectual.The grandson of a Baptist minister, West’s primary philosophy focuses on the roles of race, gender, and class struggle in American society. A socialist, West draws intellectual contributions from multiple traditions, including Christianity, the black church, democratic socialism, left-wing populism, neopragmatism, and transcendentalism. Among his most influential books are Race Matters (1993) and Democracy Matters (2004). West is an outspoken voice in left-wing politics in the United States. During his career, he has held professorships and fellowships at Harvard University, Yale University, Union Theological Seminary, Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Pepperdine University, and the University of Paris. He is a frequent commentator on politics and social questions in many media outlets.

From 2010 through 2013, West co-hosted the radio program Smiley and West with Tavis Smiley. He has been featured in several documentaries, and made appearances in Hollywood films such as The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, as well as providing commentary for both films. West has also made several spoken word and hip hop albums, and due to this work, has been named MTV’s Artist of the Week. West co-hosted a podcast entitled, The Tight Rope, with Tricia Rose. He is a frequent conversation partner with his friend Robert P. George, a prominent conservative intellectual, with the two often speaking together at colleges and universities on the meaning of liberal arts education, free speech, and civil dialogue. In 2020, he was listed by Prospect magazine as the fourth-greatest thinker for the COVID-19 era. 

West is a third party candidate in the 2024 presidential election. After declaring his run with the People’s Party in June 2023, he shortly thereafter announced he also was seeking the nomination of the Green Party. In October 2023, he announced he was again switching his affiliation, and is running as an independent candidate. Dr. Wests’ take on the many issues marginalized black and brown people face everyday is relevant to what makes him a great American. He speaks up for those who cannot advocate for themselves and continues to push the envelope on major issues that hinder struggling communities and people. Dr. West is the true definition of a great American. 

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