ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes



West has proven himself to be one of the most

penetrating and wide-ranging critics of contemporary religious thought



Books by Cornel West

Democracy Matters: The Fight Against Imperialism  /  Race Matters  / Cornel West Reader  /  The Future of the Race  

The American Evasion of Philosophy  /  African American Religious Thought  /  The War Against Parents 

The African American Century White on White / Black on Black  / Prophesy Deliverance  / The Soul Knows No Bars

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Cornell West: Black Scholar

Abandons Harvard & Moves to Princeton

Is His Job Situation Relevant to Black Liberation?


Cornel West was  a member of the Faculty of Divinity at  Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute of Afro-American Research and taught primarily in the fields of Afro-American studies and philosophy of religion. He had also previously taught at Yale University, Union Theological Seminary, and Princeton University, where he was chair of the department of Afro-American studies. 

He is the author of numerous books including Beyond Ethnocentrism and Multiculturalism, Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin, The Cornel West Reader, The African-American Century, and Race Matters. His research interests include African-American critical thought, cultural criticism, social theory, the influence of modernism and postmodernism on literature, and the future of American youth. In addition to his activities at Harvard, Cornel West speaks frequently at other colleges, universities and to religious and civic organizations. 

The courses he has taught recently include:

  • Pragmatism and Neopragmatism
  • Christianity and Democracy
  • American Democracy

News from PRINCETON UNIVERSITY Office of Communications Stanhope Hall Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5264 Telephone 609-258-3601; Fax 609-258-1301

For immediate release: April 12, 2002

Contact: Marilyn Marks, 609-258-3601 or  

Cornel West to return to Princeton as senior faculty member

Eddie Glaude, scholar of African-American religious studies, to be associate professor

PRINCETON, N.J. — Enhancing its strong Program in African-American Studies, Princeton University is planning to appoint to the faculty Cornel West, the acclaimed teacher and scholar of religion, and Eddie S. Glaude Jr., a Bowdoin College professor known for his work in African-American religious studies. The appointments require the approval of Princeton’s Board of Trustees, which meets Saturday, and would take effect July 1.

Cornel West, who is known for his intellectual contributions in the study of religion and for challenging those both inside and outside of academia to think about critical issues of race, was a popular and dedicated teacher during his previous tenure at Princeton, and we are pleased that he has decided to return,” said Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman. “He will be joined by Eddie Glaude, who studied with Professor West as a Princeton graduate student and has since built his own reputation as a gifted scholar and teacher.”

West, the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor at Harvard, will return to Princeton as the Class of 1943 University Professor of Religion. He was a member of Princeton’s faculty from 1988 through 1994, serving as professor of religion and director of the Program in African-American Studies.

A prolific writer and widely cited scholar, West focuses on the area where religious thought, social theory and pragmatic philosophy meet. His most influential scholarly work, “The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism,” is a history of pragmatism from Emerson to the present. “It would be accurate to say that he has reshaped religious studies in such a way that his area of interest is now seen as central to the field,” said Jeffrey Stout, a professor of religion at Princeton.

Through his writings, West has proven himself to be one of the most penetrating and wide-ranging critics of contemporary religious thought, Stout said, adding that West “defends a position that combines pragmatism and Christian thought in a way that is reminiscent of the young Reinhold Niebuhr.”

West’s book “Race Matters,” which sold nearly 400,000 copies and influenced a national dialogue on race, brought him widespread attention and honors outside the field of religious studies. His recent work includes two important books he co-authored on public policy issues: “The Future of American Progressivism” and “The War Against Parents.”

“I am excited to return to the greatest center for humanistic studies in the country,” West said. “I look forward to being a part of President Tilghman’s vision that promotes high quality intellectual conversation mediated with respect.”

Writer Toni Morrison, the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, said: “Depth, precision and fervor have always characterized Cornel West’s work as well as his teaching. Princeton is extremely fortunate in securing him — again.”

West graduated from Harvard University magna cum laude, and earned his Ph.D. degree in philosophy at Princeton in 1980. In 1996, he was awarded the James Madison Medal, the highest honor Princeton bestows on graduate alumni.

At Harvard, West has taught introductory through advanced courses, and his “Introduction to Afro-American Studies” class was the second most popular course at the university. In addition, West has been on the faculty at Union Theological Seminary and Yale University, and has served as a visiting professor at numerous other colleges and universities. In all his appointments, he has been recognized for his commitment to teaching and his dedication to both undergraduate and graduate students.

“The Department of Religion is delighted to welcome back Cornel West,” said Professor Martha Himmelfarb, chair of the department. “During his years here he brought extraordinary energy to his undergraduate teaching, and he helped to attract and train an exceptional group of graduate students. We very much look forward to his return, which will enrich the department in so many ways.”

West is “certain to make a fine contribution to the intellectual life of the Program in African-American Studies,” said Professor Colin Palmer, that program’s acting director. “I look forward to working with him on many projects that will enhance the study of the peoples of the African Diaspora on this campus.”

Another faculty member joining the Department of Religion is Eddie Glaude, who was appointed associate professor. Glaude, now associate professor of religion and Africana studies at Bowdoin College, is the author of “Exodus! Religion, Race, and

Nation in Early 19th Century Black America,” a finalist for the Society of Historians of the Early Republic first book prize. He edited “Is It Nation Time? Contemporary Essays on Black Power and Black Nationalism,” and is the co-editor, with West, of the forthcoming volume “African American Religious Studies: An Anthology.”

“Eddie Glaude is among the most interesting members of a new generation of scholars in the study of American religious life and thought. He’s a teacher of extraordinary energy and imagination and a person of strong and thoughtful convictions,” said Charles Beitz, a Princeton politics professor who, as dean for academic affairs at Bowdoin, recruited Glaude there. “He was a great contributor to the Bowdoin faculty in every important dimension, and we’re very lucky to have attracted him to Princeton,” Beitz said.

Glaude is a 1989 graduate of Morehouse College, with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He has a master’s degree in African-American studies from Temple University. At Princeton, he earned a master’s degree and doctorate in religion.

“I am very excited about my appointment to the faculty at Princeton University,” Glaude said. “I am convinced that something really special is happening at the institution, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Valerie Smith, professor of English and director of the African-American studies program, noted that West and Glaude “are at different stages in their careers, but both are distinguished and influential scholars of African-American religious, philosophical and political thought.

“As teachers and as scholars they will add immeasurably to the Program in African-American Studies, the Department of Religion, and the life of the University as a whole,” said Smith, who is on leave from the University this semester.

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Cornel West to Take a Job in New York—Laurie Goodstein—16 November 2011—Cornel West, the peripatetic public intellectual and political activist, plans to finish out a teaching career that has taken him from Yale to Harvard to Princeton by moving back this coming summer to Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, where he began as an assistant professor in 1977. Dr. West, the author of 19 books, including Race Matters, and a ubiquitous television and radio commentator, said he was taking a significant pay cut to become a professor of philosophy and Christian practices at Union.

The school, where the eminent theologian Reinhold Niebuhr taught, is also known as the birthplace of black theology. James H. Cone, a foremost scholar in that tradition, is still on the faculty.In an interview from Seattle, on his way to visit Occupy protesters there, Dr. West said that his liberal politics were formed in Progressive Baptist churches, and that Union was “the institutional expression of my core identity as a prophetic Christian.”—NYTimes

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Brother West

Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir

By Cornel West

Brother West is like its author: brilliant, unapologetic, full of passion yet cool. This poignant memoir traces West’s transformation from a schoolyard Robin Hood into a progressive cultural icon. From his youthful investigation of the “death shudder” to why he embraced his calling of teaching over preaching, from his three marriages and his two precious children to his near-fatal bout with prostate cancer, West illuminates what it means to live as “an aspiring bluesman in a world of ideas and a jazzman in the life of the mind.” Woven together with the fibers of his lifelong commitment to the prophetic Christian tradition that began in Sacramento’s Shiloh Baptist Church, Brother West is a tale of a man courageous enough to be fully human, living and loving out loud.

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The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic (Chris Hedges)  /  Cornel West v Barack Obama (Melissa Harris-Perry )

Dr. Cornel West and Carl Dix Interview: On Obama  /  Cornel West: Obama is for big business not the jobless

Michael Eric Dyson vs President Obama  / Cornel West and the fight against injustice

Cornel West Calls Out Barack Obama  / Cornel West “Barack Obama Is the Black Mascot of The Wall Street Oligarchs”

Michael Eric Dyson to President Obama  /  Michael Eric Dyson: To The Young & Disillusioned

Michael Eric Dyson: Obama isn’t Moses, he is Pharaoh  /  Smiley and West: Obama & Sharpton

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011  


#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 – Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 – Don’t Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 – Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 – Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King

#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label ‘trafficked’ does not accurately describe migrants’ lives and that the ‘rescue industry’ serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. “Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality.”—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 23 June 2008 




Home Baltimore Page  Dietrich Bonhoeffer  Table

Related files: Cornel West Moves to Princeton  West Cites Reason For Quitting  Cornel West: An Editorial  Pass the Mic  Kam Williams Interviews Cornel West  Responses to Pass the Mic 

The Tavis Smiley Presidential Forum   The State of the Black Union 2009  Smiley vs. Sharpton