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A8203 The Marty Forum James H. Cone from American Academy of Religion on Vimeo. (continue reading)
What kind of human being do you want to be?
In what ways, if any at all, do you think a sense of cultural awareness in America could provide hope to the United States? in the present state of social and economic turmoil?
Riz Khan - America's legendary intellectual-15 Apr 08-Part 1
Riz Khan - America's legendary intellectual -15 Apr 08-Pt 2
Cornel West, Ph.D., was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The grandson of a preacher, West marched as a young man in civil rights demonstrations and organized protests demanding Black Studies courses at his high school. After graduating from John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento, California, where he served as president of his high-school class, he enrolled at Harvard University at age 17. He took classes from philosophers Robert Nozick and Stanley Cavell and graduated in three years, magna cum laude in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization in 1973. He earned a Ph.D. in 1980 from Princeton, where he was influenced by Richard Rorty's pragmatism. In his mid-twenties, he returned to Harvard as a Du Bois fellow before becoming an assistant professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
In 1985 he went to Yale Divinity School in what eventually became a joint appointment in American Studies. While at Yale, he participated in campus protests for a clerical union and divestment from apartheid South Africa, one of which resulted in his being arrested and jailed. As punishment, the university administration cancelled his leave for Spring 1987, leading him to commute between Yale (where he was teaching two classes) and the University of Paris. He then returned to Union and taught at Haverford College for one year before going to Princeton to become a professor of religion and director of the Program in African American Studies, which he revitalized in cooperation with such scholars as novelist Toni Morrison. He served as director of the program from 1988 to 1994. He then accepted an appointment as professor of African-American studies at Harvard University, with a joint appointment at the Divinity School. West taught one of the university's most popular courses, an introductory class on African American Studies.
In 1998 he was appointed the first Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, a position that placed him among a select two dozen professors at the university. West taught courses in African-American Studies, divinity, religion, and philosophy. In 2001, West returned to Princeton, where he is the Class of 1943 University Professor.
The recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees and the American Book Award, West is also much sought-after as a speaker, commentator, and honorary chair. West remains a widely cited scholar in the popular press, in African-American Studies, and in studies of Black theology.
West is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc, the oldest fraternity established for African American undergraduates. His classic works, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, were both national bestsellers. His new book, HOPE ON A TIGHTROPE: Words & Wisdom, will be published November 1, 2008, by SmileyBooks.
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