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A reflection on race and identity

Egbe Adeoye in conversation with Corin Matthews

We have more in common than we think, so why is identity politics on the rise globally? Why do we have xenophobic attacks in South Africa? Why aren’t we moving on the transformation agenda? Why are we stuck on how to exit Brexit? Why is right wing politics on the rise in Europe? Why is being black and male in America almost an epidemic? Why don’t black lives matter? Why are we caught up in futile cycles of ethnic politics all across Africa? Race isn’t easy. And yet, can we afford to be silent?

As Corin asks, “is this ‘thing’ not simpler?” Have we not all disappeared into our middle class existences, wanting to be comfortable at all costs, keeping a bourgeoisie status quo alive? Can we locate the hidden parts of ourselves locked in privilege or lack of privilege, that are in the shadow and hold us back from truly connecting in our thinking, feeling, doing?

Knowing our comfort touch points around race, and not hiding with denialism of who we are, this is work we all have to do. How can you be curious and courageous about who you are and what’s stopping us from coming together to stir up conscious change. How do we give voice to the ‘no’, the disquiet that tells us in our bodies and thoughts and feelings that all is not well?

These are the sobering topics Corin Matthews and I grapple with in this podcast episode. It’s one of the hardest conversations I’ve had topic wise. It’s also one of the safest. Corin is an exceptional human being. His authenticity to his own growth and learning, the gentle firmness with which he holds himself and others accountable means that there is shying away. We confront ourselves and, when we do the work, we are all the better for it.

Please let me know what you think. Send me messages at Be blessed.

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