Cornel Ronald West (born June 2, 1953) is an American philosopher, author, critic, actor, civil rights activist and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America. West is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University, where he teaches in the Center for African American Studies and in the Department of Religion. West is known for his combination of political and moral insight and criticism and his contribution to the post-1960s civil rights movement. The bulk of his work focuses on the role of race, gender, and class in American society and the means by which people act and react to their "radical conditionedness". West draws intellectual contributions from such diverse traditions as the African American Baptist Church, pragmatism and transcendentalism.
NOTE: Bio updated on June 14, 2011