Propaganda comes to CSULB
Christian rapper and activist will speak about race relations Thursday night.
March 14, 2017
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In the midst of a politically and socially tense era, Cal State Long Beach has become a place where many different opinions and views are openly expressed. It’s not hard to spot fliers for speakers and demonstrators sharing their voice on the current issues facing America.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of CSULB will be hosting Christian rapper and activist Propaganda for an on-campus event in LH 151 discussing the intersection of faith and justice this Thursday from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. in an effort to represent the Evangelical voice on the issue of racial injustice in our country.
“[Propaganda’s rapping is] a form of dialogue [delivered] in a more artistic way that I think a lot of people will really appreciate,” said Daniel Sunkari, InterVarsity’s press contact.
Propaganda is an L.A. native, African American social activist who focuses on issues of racial justice and how Christians in particular view and address those issues. He now lives in Long Beach and uses his rapping, spoken word and preachings to acknowledge race issues in America and in churches.
One of his more political tracks, “Precious Puritans,” challenges white pastors and Christians who quote Puritans while not addressing the fact that they condoned slavery and did not fight for equal rights for black people. He has been criticized in the Christian blogosphere for sparking such controversy to which he told Relevant magazine, “I’ll stop talking about it when it stops being an issue.”
The rapper will be coming to CSULB as a part of InterVarsity’s “Take Action” series. The series has covered issues such as romantic relationships, conflict, cross-cultural communities and now — race, all in an effort to teach students how to think about these issues with a Christian mindset.
“We understand that this is a necessary conversation to have and in the past year … this dialogue has been happening on campus through protests and a lot of people are very tense and angry,” said Sunkari. “People want to know what Christians have to say about it. People want to know what God has to say about issues of justice.”
InterVarsity hopes to engage both Christians and non-Christians at the event in attempts to tell all students how they can take action in the face of these issues. There will be a pre-event club meeting from 5 – 7 p.m. in Peterson Hall 141 where students can participate in a study of the Bible and hear from club leaders what the Bible says about justice.
Following the club meeting, students will walk over to Lecture Hall 151 where they can hear Propaganda perform and speak on racial justice from a Christian point of view. After the performance, there will be a Q&A, allowing students to ask any questions they have on these complex issues.
“Propaganda not only shares a similar story to many of us, but he addresses these very complex topics in a very creative way,” said Sunkari, who chose to host the rapper. “His life is very much in the crosshairs of racial justice in America.”
Sunkari says InterVarsity hopes to use this event as a catalyst for Christian college students to find their voice and take action against issues that affect their everyday lives. Being a racially and ethnically diverse club, Sunkari said this event falls in line with the values InterVarsity promotes.
“A value we hold at InterVarsity is that we believe in a Jesus who brings faith and justice together and who very much lived that out and taught that,” said Sunkari. “A lot of times we feel very frozen and overwhelmed by these issues of injustice, but there are ways for us to take action as students.”
With this event and open discussion, students will have a chance to do just that.