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Dr. Cornell West - Valencia College Library Resources: Home
About Dr. West
Dr. Cornel West
"Best known for his cultural critiques, youth advocacy, and academic works, West has had a prolific career as a public intellectual, lecturer, writer, recording artist, and actor. In his writings, he dissects race and religion, democracy, and the need to empower youths through education."
Taking Emerson as his starting point, Cornel West's basic task in this ambitious enterprise is to chart the emergence, development, decline, and recent resurgence of American pragmatism. John Dewey is the central figure in West's pantheon of pragmatists, but he treats as well such varied mid-century representatives of the tradition as Sidney Hook, C. Wright Mills, W. E. B. Du Bois, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Lionel Trilling. West's "genealogy" is, ultimately, a very personal work, for it is imbued throughout with the author's conviction that a thorough reexamination of American pragmatism may help inspire and instruct contemporary efforts to remake and reform American society and culture.
An unflinching look at nineteenth- and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies. In an accessible, conversational format, Cornel West, with distinguished scholar Christa Buschendorf, provides a fresh perspective on six revolutionary African American leaders: Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Malcolm X, and Ida B. Wells.
In Democracy Matters, West returns to the analysis of the arrested development of democracy-both in America and in the crisis-ridden Middle East. In a strikingly original diagnosis, he argues that if America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, we must first wake up to the long history of imperialist corruption that has plagued our own democracy. Both our failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the crisis of Islamist anti-Americanism stem largely from hypocrisies in our dealings with the world. Racism and imperial expansionism have gone hand in hand in our country's inexorable drive toward hegemony, and our current militarism is only the latest expression of that drive.
Race Matters contains West's most powerful essays on the issues relevant to black Americans today: despair, black conservatism, black-Jewish relations, myths about black sexuality, the crisis in leadership in the black community, and the legacy of Malcolm X. And the insights that he brings to these complicated problems remain fresh, exciting, creative, and compassionate. Now more than ever, Race Matters is a book for all Americans, as it helps us to build a genuine multiracial democracy in the new millennium.
A revealing collection that restores Dr. King as being every bit as radical as Malcolm X: "The radical King was a democratic socialist who sided with poor and working people in the class struggle taking place in capitalist societies... The response of the radical King to our catastrophic moment can be put in one word: revolution––a revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life, and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens... Could it be that we know so little of the radical King because such courage defies our market-driven world?" ––Cornel West, from the Introduction
Dr. West has written forewords and introductions for renowned authors and acted as editor award-winning titles.
Published here for the first time in book form, The Black Panther Party makes the case that the programs' methods are viable models for addressing the persistent, basic social injustices and economic problems of today's American cities and suburbs.
When Cone wrote Black Theology and Black Power , he signaled to the world that the American black faith tradition would no longer recognize the confines of the church walls as the extent of its purview in society. Cone liberated the Gospel of Christ from its institutionalized forms, unhinging it from oppressive and racist power structures in American society and releasing it to do its work in the public sphere. Black Faith and Public Talk continues Cone's theme of power in the public realm and examines the economic, political, cultural, gender, and theological implications of black faith and black theology.
In a bold and innovative argument, a rising legal star shows readers how the mass incarceration of a disproportionate number of black men amounts to a devastating system of racial control. This is a terrifying reality that exists in the UK as much as in the US. Despite the triumphant dismantling of the Jim Crow laws, the system that once forced African-Americans into a segregated second-class citizenship still haunts and the criminal justice system still unfairly targets black men and deprives an entire segment of the population of their basic rights.
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine. Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build; the movement for human liberation; And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle."
A Valencia Community Conversation with Dr. Cornel West - February 22, 2021
This is a recording of Dr. West's discussion at Valencia College on February 22, 2021, facilitated by student leaders Anjanette Barinas and Andre St. Louis.
Dr. West has appeared in numerous documentaries and major news outlets. Here are a selection of his appearances on PBS.
Reconstruction: America After The Civil War, PBS
In the fourth episode of PBS American Portrait, go inside the lives of people working to create an antiracist American future. They film themselves doing the hard work, confronting the obstacles and achieving the small victories that could add up to real change in the movement for racial justice.
PBS American Portrait - "I Rise"
Reconstruction: America After The Civil War explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change.
Films on Demand
The following videos featuring Dr. Cornel West are available for free through our Films on Demand database: