Race Matters

by Cornel West


2020 Jun 21


First published in 1993, on the one-year anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, Race Matters became a national best seller that has gone on to sell more than half a million copies. This classic treatise on race contains Dr. West’s most incisive essays on the issues relevant to black Americans, including the crisis in leadership in the Black community, Black conservatism, Black-Jewish relations, myths about Black sexuality, and the legacy of Malcolm X. The insights Dr. West brings to these complex problems remain relevant, provocative, creative, and compassionate.

In a new introduction for the twenty-fifth-anniversary edition, Dr. West argues that we are in the midst of a spiritual blackout characterized by imperial decline, racial animosity, and unchecked brutality and terror as seen in Baltimore, Ferguson, and Charlottesville. Calling for a moral and spiritual awakening, Dr. West finds hope in the collective and visionary resistance exemplified by the Movement for Black Lives, Standing Rock, and the Black freedom tradition.

Now more than ever, Race Matters is an essential book for all Americans, helping us to build a genuine multiracial democracy in the new millennium.

Notes & Highlights


Since the prophetic fire lit by hope has been so damped by neoliberal chatter about “hope”, I prefer to be a hope rather than talk about hope. Being a hope is being in motion, on the move with body on the line, mind set on freedom, soul full of courage, and heart shot through with love. Being a hope is forging moral and spiritual fortitude, putting on intellectual armor, and being willing to live and die for the empowerment of the wretched of the earth.

Last, this rage is fueled by a political atmosphere in which images, not ideas, dominate, where politicians spend more time raising money than debating issues. The functions of parties have been displays by public polls, and politicians behave less as thermostats that determine the climate of opinion than as thermometers registering the public mood.

Get a copy

Local Library


Race Matters by Cornel West