University Professor, Philosopher and Influential Intellectual

One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, Cornel West has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the Black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. The New York Times has praised his "ferocious moral vision." Currently the Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton. West burst onto the national scene in 1993 with his best-selling book, Race Matters, a searing analysis of racism in American democracy. Race Matters has become a contemporary classic, selling more than half a million copies to date.

In his long awaited life story, BROTHER WEST: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir, West offers a compelling exploration of his heart behind the human mind. Themes include Faith, Family, Philosophy, Love, and Service. He has published 19 other books and has edited 13 texts. West also offers commentary weekly on The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI (Public Radio International). He was an influential force in developing the storyline for the popular Matrix movie trilogy and has served as its official spokesperson, as well as playing a recurring role in the final two films. West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and has a Ph.D. from Princeton.

His CDs, Sketches of My Culture and Street Knowledge highlight his belief that growing divisions in our society foster the despair and distrust that undermines our democratic process. By working to create an ongoing dialogue between the myriad of voices in our culture, Dr. West is vigilant in his efforts to restore hope to America. He is a mesmerizing speaker, dynamic philosopher, and enlightened activist. With astute intellect and ferocious moral vision, Dr. West continuously challenges modern thought with great efficacy.

Lecture Topics

  • Domestic and Global Perspectives
  • Diversity and Multiculturalism
  • Ethics and Values
  • Importance of Pop Culture for Our Youth, Society and Democracy Itself
  • Inspiration and Motivation
  • Religious Toleration
  • Race and Democracy in the Age of Obama
  • "Brother West": Insight into Dr. West's First-Ever Memoirs
  • Blues, Funk, Hip-Hop and Their Transformative Effect on American Culture
  • Dr. West's Comments


  • Dr. West @ the 22nd Annual Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE 2009)
    • “He is such a powerful speaker.  This was one of the best things about the conference.”
    • “I’ve heard Dr. West many times and he always challenges me to think about something in a different way.”
    • “One of the best keynotes I’ve heard in the 10 years coming to NCORE.”
    • The most amazing speech I have ever heard.  I am still thinking about it.”
  • Dr. West lived up to his reputation - he was brilliant!
    • Margaret Carlisle,Memphis Theological Seminary
  • “Many nationally known figures have come to Morgan Hall Auditorium to address our students and community members, but none produced the number of attendees as Dr. West’s appearance."
    • Dr. Robert F. Olin, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, The University of Alabama @ Tuscaloosa

In The News


tsg small footer