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Dr. Cornel West joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” a few weeks ago to discuss his book “Black Prophetic Fire” and shared his views about leaders who were unapologetically Black as well as unapologetically truthful.

While talking about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., West said, “Anytime one has the courage to tell the truth about the depths of the vicious legacy of White supremacy and then connect that legacy to the capitalist economy and imperial, policy foreign policies, vis-à-vis, Vietnam. It could be Pakistan, it could be Afghanistan, it could be the Middle East or whatever that – you usually not going to live that long.”

West named a number of Black leaders who as a result of their views either left the country or died at an early age.

“Du Bois of course ended up in Africa, Malcolm dead at 39, Martin is dead at 39. When Martin died … 55% of Black people disapproved of him in the polls, because he had Black preachers mobilizing against him saying he was a communist. He was trying to bring all poor people together so it looked as if he was abandoning the civil rights cause as opposed to deepening that cause.”

In discussing the notion of being unapologetically Black, West said, “In America, to be successful you can’t call yourself unapologetically Black.”

“When you say you’re unapologetically Black, you’re saying … I’m going to be faithful to a cause, I’m just not going to be tied to a brand.”

Dr. West’s also commented on Viola Davis character in the ABC drama “How To Get Away With Murder” and mainstream media’s standard of beauty.

West said, “Sister Davis is a beautiful woman with or without the make-up, but at the same time she has to deal with Madison Ave.’s ideals of beauty.”

Check out Martin and West’s conversation about being unapologetically Black above and let us know if you agree with what West had to say about the topic.

Be sure to listen to “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 7 a.m. EST and watch at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

Dr. Cornel West: In America, To Be Successful You Can’t Call Yourself Unapologetically Black [VIDEO]  was originally published on