Talk show host Tavis Smiley believes "Soul Train" creator Don Cornelius was responsible for saving black culture in the 70s and 80s -- telling TMZ, the late producer was "our cultural ambassador"… READ MORE >
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 a 1973 graduate of Harvard University and as of 2011 is employed as a 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.