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Press Releases

Friday, September 3, 1999

Cornell West Delivers Sept. 13 Riall Lecture 

SALISBURY, MD---Cornel West, who has been called Athe pre-eminent African-American intellectual of our generation@ and compared by his colleagues to Martin Luther King Jr., will deliver the fall Riall Lecture at Salisbury State University.  

West, a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard and who earned his master=s and doctoral degrees from Princeton, will speak on Monday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Holloway Hall Auditorium.  His topic will focus on issues of family, culture and public policy taken from his book The War Against Parents.   

The Riall Lecture Series is devoted to bringing world leaders in education to the Eastern Shore.  

West, the author of 13 books including the groundbreaking Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin and the best selling Race Matters, has earned the accolades of some of America=s most important thinkers.

Norman Pearlstine, former executive editor of The Wall Street Journal, calls him Aa social critic for our time.@ 

West is AA significant intellectural presence, scholarly enough to be cited in footnotes yet so charismatic that colleagues have compared him to Martin Luther King Jr., wrote Robert S. Boynton, in The New York Times.@  

ACornel West is the only person on the intellectual scene capable of inheriting the mantle of Reinhold Niebuhr,@ said the Very Rev. Ronald F. Thiemann, of Harvard University=s Divinity School.  

Henry Louis Gates Jr., also of Harvard, has called West Athe pre-eminent African-American intellectual of our generation.@  

And Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children=s Defense Fund, has praised him as Aone of the most authentic, brilliant, prophetic and healing voices in America today.@  

A professor of religion and Afro-American studies at Harvard, his interest range from Black critical thought, cultural criticism and social theory to philosophy, literature and the future of American youth.  

The War Against Parents, co-authored by West and Sylvia Ann Hewlett, explores how marketing forces are undermining the American family.  Government, business and culture have stacked the deck against families, thereby jeopardizing our most valuable strategic resource as well as our nation=s future.  Government, the authors contend, has turned a blind eye for years while paradoxically decrying the disintegration of the family.  Legislators, they believe, have relinquished responsibility for maintaining family life.  The results, among other things, is a Aparental time famine.@  

West has Aa powerful message.  His ideas are thought provoking,@ said Dr. Debra Thatcher, chair of SSU=s Riall Committee and coordinator of the Riall Lecture Series.  

West is Aa major cultural figure,@ said Dr. Jerome Miller, chair of SSU=s Philosophy Department. AIt=s incredible that we got him here.@  

Admission is free. A reception and book signing follow.  For more information call 410-543-6030.

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