Aunty Marlene Cummins speaks out over racial abuse in Newtown

Cummins said that no passersby stopped to help her

Indigenous Elder and blues musician Aunty Marlene Cummins has spoken out after being racially abused out the front of a Newtown bookstore over the weekend.

In a video posted to Facebook by Violeta Ayala, with Cummins’ permission, the musician says she was abused while busking outside of bookstore Better Read Than Dead.

Cummins said that two white men and a white woman were “taking the mickey” out of her. The musician described them as being “full on, disrespectful and racist.”


Cummins notes that no-one did anything to stop the abuse. An attendant of the bookstore apologised to her once the abusers had left.

I would like to bring to your attention a racist incident that happened last night at 7:20 pm outside @…

Posted by Violeta Ayala on Saturday, July 25, 2020

In a second video, Cummins calls out the staff of the bookstore directly.

“I’m out there playing beautiful music to the masses, and you let these idiots… abuse me,” she said.

“You sell books here… Eddie Mabo,” she continued. “Eddie Mabo helped me get my first saxophone.

“You have no idea what it’s like to be Aboriginal in this country, and experience racism on a daily basis.”


The bookstore released a statement on their Facebook page concerning the incident, apologising for their inaction.

“We should have been proactive in addressing the incident, and… we failed,” the statement reads.

“Our deepest and sincerest apologies. As a community, we owe a duty to care to one another.”

Read the full statement below:

Newtowners, Last night, an Elder of the local Indigenous community was racially abused out the front of our shop. We…

Posted by Better Read Than Dead on Saturday, July 25, 2020