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Cornel West is a professor at Princeton University, civil rights campaigner, and author of many works on race, religion, and politics, including Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom, Race Matters, and The Cornel West Reader. No stranger to the screen, he appeared in two sequels of the movie The Matrix, and featured in the recent documentary Examined Life, about the importance of philosophy. President Obama has referred to West as "a genius" and "an oracle." West has just published his autobiography, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.