Dr Cornel West responds to questions about African Australians

Think Inc. much anticipated intellectual discourse with race activist and renowned member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Dr Cornel West, is almost here and it’s very timely as the issue of racism continues to smear the otherwise pristine image of Australia. Focusing on race, gender, equality, asylum seeking, Indigenous rights and the rights of minority groups in our society, these talks will be held in Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney respectively.

Salt Magazine sent Dr West a couple of questions for a hint of what to expect from his tour. Outlined below are his responses to our questions.

The African community in Australia is fairly new and does experience racism from time to time, based on your experience how should they deal with this issue and what measures should the Government put in place to address racism?

SpeechBubbleThe African community in Australia must respond with courage, compassion and vision. There must be a willingness to stand straight and lift every voice in speaking truth to power.

What’s your take on the notion that Africans use the race card to shy away from their responsibilities?

SpeechBubbleWe all are accountable and answerable to something bigger than us.

It does appear that racism will always be lurking around so what do you suggest to improve race relations in western societies?

SpeechBubbleWe must confront the issue with honest conversations using a language of love.

Do you prefer ‘African Australians’ or ‘Australians of African descent’ and why?

SpeechBubbleIt is up to Black people in Australia to name themselves

As an activist what are you aiming to achieve or what’s your ideal society?

SpeechBubbleI am a radical democrat who believes that all persons should lift their voices in order to shape their destiny.


Salt Magazine looks forward to attending one of his talks and hopes to get more answers to our questions as we think he could elaborate further.


Australian Tour dates:

Wednesday 10 June | Astor Theatre, Perth
Thursday 11 June | BCEC Brisbane
Friday 12 June | MCEC Melbourne
Saturday 13 June | Big Top Luna Park


SALT Magazine is an African-Australian Community News Magazine, created to provide print and online news and information on a broad range of issues of interest to the African community in Australia as well as to the wider general public. Our main aim is to act as a platform for the voice of the new and emerging African Australian communities, providing an African perspective to Australian topics. We wish to highlight African refugee success stories and encourage community development by exploring the challenges faced by new arrivals.

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