Friday, March 18, 2005

Princeton professor, theologian, activist and author Dr. Cornel West will speak at Fairmont State on Thursday, March 31, as part of the Celebration of Culture and Ideas Lecture Series.

Student Government is sponsoring the event, which will take place at 7 p.m. March 31 in the Turley Center Ballroom. No tickets are required, and admission is free and open to the public.

Born in Tulsa, Okla., West and his family moved to the outskirts of Sacramento when he was 4. After attending public school in Sacramento, West went to Harvard University where he graduated magna cum laude in 1973. He then went on to Princeton University where he received a Master of Arts degree in 1975 and a doctorate in 1980. He returned to Princeton in 1987 as Professor of Religion and Director of the Afro-American Studies Department. After helping build that department, West moved to Harvard where he served as Professor of Afro-American Studies and Philosophy of Religion. Promoted to university professor, West was one of the first black scholars to be appointed to Harvard's highest faculty post. Today, West is back at Princeton as a Professor of Religion. He has been called "one of the most authentic, brilliant, prophetic and healing voices in America today."

West has written numerous articles and 15 books, including "The American Evasion of Philosophy, Jews and Blacks" and "The Future of the Race and Restoring Hope." His book, "Race Matters," quickly achieved best-seller status in both editions and gained the attention of Time magazine and Newsweek. "The War Against Parents," co-written with Sylvia Ann Hewlett, was published in April 1998. Another publication, written with Roberto Unger, "The Future of American Progressivism," teaches how the growing division in our society foster the despair and distrust that undermine our democratic process. His most recent publication, "The Cornel West Reader," traces the development of West's extraordinary career as academic, intellectual and activist.