Field Recordings #1: Cornel West

Is racism dead? Can we advocate for the oppressed whose experiences are different from our own?

In the first of The Dark Room‘s “Field Recordings,” Paul sits down with renowned moral philosopher and race theorist, Cornel West, at this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, held at Ryerson University, to explore these questions. In candid fashion, the two–moments before Cornel’s keynote lecture–discuss how a surging number of individuals are rejecting the legacy of racism, yet remain in tension with many who uphold it out of fear and even greed.

Drawing from The Dark Room’s recent discussion with Rachel Dolezal, who controversially identifies as black while biologically white, Cornel also sheds important light on how wanting to defend or participate in the culture of a marginalized group does not require claiming membership among them. Rather, one can do so as an authentic outsider, mindful of, and sensitive to, the unfair differences, such as class or racial privilege, that sets him or her apart from the group.

Learn more about Cornel at

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