Cornel West

WASHINGTON-SEPT 11: Princeton University professor and Civil rights leader West stands at the rally once billed as the Million Muslim March on September 11, 2013 in Washington, D.C., Glynnis Jones/

Birth Name: Cornel Ronald West

Place of Birth: Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.

Date of Birth: June 2, 1953

Ethnicity: African-American, Louisiana Creole [African, French]

Cornel West is an American philosopher, political activist, social critic, actor, and public intellectual. He lectures on race, gender, and class in American society, as well as Marxism, democratic socialism, Christianity, the Black church, transcendentalism, neopragmatism, and populism. He has been a professor or held fellowships at Harvard University, Yale University, Union Theological Seminary, Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Pepperdine University, and the University of Paris; his books include Race Matters and Democracy Matters. He hosts the podcast The Tight Rope, was a co-host of radio program Smiley and West, appeared in The Matrix sequels, and recorded spoken word and hip-hop albums. Cornel is a socialist, and is a prominent left-wing commentator and campus speaker.

He is an independent candidate for President of the United States in 2024.

He was previously a candidate for the People’s Party’s, and the Green Party’s, 2024 nominations for President.

He is the son of Irene B. West (born Irene Rayshell Bias), a teacher and principal, and Clifton Louis West, Jr., a general contractor for the DoD. He was raised in Sacramento, California. Cornel was a civil rights activist in his youth, and marched in protests. He is married to Annahita Mahdavi.

Cornel’s paternal grandfather was The Rev. Clifton L. West. The Rev. Clifton was pastor of the Tulsa Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Cornel’s paternal grandmother was named Lovie Allen. Lovie was born in Louisiana.

Cornel’s maternal grandfather was named Nixon Bias. Nixon was born in Louisiana.

Cornel’s maternal grandmother was named Debbie Broussard. Debbie was born in Louisiana.

Source: Genealogy of Cornel West –

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