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Chance the Rapper Is Speaking Out, Taking Inspiration From Iconic Black Theologian James H. Cone

Chance the Rapper is never too far from a good cause and he’s been especially busy in the wake of the international protests that have engulfed the world in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. This being Chance, it’s no surprise that his words were motivated by faith. In this case, it wasn’t even really his words that took the spotlight. Instead, Chance went to social media with a lengthy passage from James H. Cone’s essential The Cross and the Lynching Tree. The book, which was published in 2011, is a vital read about the intertwining history of the Church, black Americans and how the life of Jesus mirrors much of the black experience in this country. It was part of RELEVANT’s list of essential reads for people who want to become more active participants in the fight against racial injustice.


Cone, who passed away in 2018, was the Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary, where he was acclaimed for articulating a perspective of Christianity that centered black people and divorced the elements of white supremacy that had crept into the theology of many American churches.

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