The Living Legacy of Cornel West

Wood, Zachary R.

Date Written:  01/09/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21478

To some of his critics, West is a bitter intellectual prizefighter past his prime who feels the need to broadcast his paroxysms of rage over feeling snubbed by Obama.



West has stumped for progressive politicians liek Bernie Sanders, helped organize marches for jobs, and joined protests against South Africa's apartheid regime, the Israeli occupation, Wall Street corruption, and police brutality [West was a supporter of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. After Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton, whom West regards as a "neoliberal disaster", West switched his support to Green Party candidate Jill Stein - ed.].

However, West has not influend public policy as has, for example, William Julius Wilson, nor has he sustained a serious commitment to producing scholarly writing like many of his colleagues at Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Even his closest supporters admit that the character of his writing has changed over the years.

Unlike W. E. B. Du Bois and the Niagara Movement, West has not organized any civil rights group to do the critical work of pushing for legislation that would positively impact poor communities of color. On this score, perhaps it is fair to say that West has not lived up to his intellectual promise.
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