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In honor of Black History Month, Christian rapper Lecrae — whose highly praised three-part mixtape series Church Clothes carries his powerful message of faith — reflects on the nation’s rich past and the importance of learning it. Read his gospel below.

Napoleon, the famous French military leader, is quoted as having said, “History is a fable agreed upon.”

As Americans we have seen how our history has had its lion’s share of overlooked errors and left out facts.

From the details surrounding the “discovery” of America, to the actual horrors behind our beloved Thanksgiving holiday, many historical facts have been excluded for a more palatable look at the past.

There is of course a difference between documenting history and using the past to shame people. I’m sure no one on God’s green earth enjoys hearing his past failures and transgressions glorified.

When I look back at the history of black Americans I’m met with mixed emotions. There is the joy of progress and the gratefulness for a divine gift of endurance. Then of course there is also pain, due to the revealed ugliness of our history and the burn of what has been left out.

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