2009-10 Fields Memorial Recipient
Dr. Cornel West
Ph.D, Princeton University, 1980
Class of 1943 University Professor, Center for African American Studies
One of America’s most provocative public intellectuals, Professor 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 Professor at Princeton University, Dr. West burst onto the national scene in 1993 with his bestselling 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 latest work, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, Dr. West traces his transformation from a schoolyard Robin Hood into a progressive cultural icon. Themes include Race, Leadership, Faith, Family, Philosophy, Love and Service. Cornel West 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).
West 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.
Dr. West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and has a Ph.D. from Princeton.