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Dr. Louis Harrison

University of Texas at Austin
Christian Hip-Hop Speaks Out: Intersection of Race, Sport, and Christianity

Historically, the “Black Church” has been a strong voice for social justice in the United States and a catalyst for social change during the Civil Rights Movement.  Black Christian leaders known for their resiliency and courage gained strength from their faith to stand up against racial discrimination through nonviolent protests.  Similarly, the social activist attitude of current Black Christians has entered the realm of sports.  Professional Black Christian athletes such as Eric Reid admits that his faith prompted him to take-action.  As some Black Christian athletes were supportive of the NFL “take-a-knee” protest during the national anthem many White-evangelical Christians were against it.  It’s evident that the difference in response to racial discrimination is a direct link to the connection of race and religion demonstrated through sport activism.  The discourse of the intersection of race, sport, and Christianity has been circulated in the songs of Christian Hip-Hop.  Using a critical race theory lens I will examine the lyrics of songs from a Christian Hip-Hop artist for themes related to this intersection to better understand the complexity of the identity structure of Black Christian athletes.