Begin Again: Interview with Micah Bournes

Faith Guest Post Interview

We kick off this series with poet, rapper, creator, and disciple of Christ, Micah Bournes. {Tweet This}

Micah is the most down to earth human I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to. I went beyond my own comfort borders and extended an invitation to interview Micah. Blame it on lack of sleep from having a newborn or an immense consumption of coffee, but I went for it. I was both nervous and wrecked to think it was possible.

“@CisnerosCafe it ain’t that serious homegirl. Ima get back to you fo sho.”

I about nearly fell out of my chair when my phone alerted me with the tweet. And as down to earth as he responded is exactly how our phone conversation played out. My afternoon became deeply inspirational and reflective. No regrets had.

Blaring through the Bluetooth in my car:

Me: Can you tell me about where you’re coming from as a writer, rapper, poet, speaker? What do you need us to know about yourself?

I grew up in Long Beach, California feeling academically inadequate when it came to school and learning. What I didn’t realize, as a kid, was that my interest in hip hop was an interest in creative writing. I loved the punch-lines and clever phrasing of rap lyricists, not realizing that this was an appreciation of poetry and the poetic devices the rappers employed. I appreciated other artists, but I didn’t discover my own creativity until college.

During my freshman year of college at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, I began writing rap songs. A couple years later I was home for the summer in Long Beach, California when I was invited to a spoken word poetry open mic. I went just to watch. That is where I felt a deep calling toward writing poetry in addition to rap lyrics, and now I also write blues songs.

I started going to open mics all the time. The spoken word events were not faith based, but I was immediately drawn to the connection I experienced with everyone at these venues. Each one of us experienced the same feelings – hurt, loss, happiness, anger. Whether they realized it or not, many poets were asking spiritual questions, addressing spiritual wounds, ideas and concerns. We were all sharing our deepest feelings and connecting with one another in a very sacred space.

Me: Has it been a hard space to navigate the Christian waters in our political climate as a black man & Christian artist? I ask this because as a Latina faith writer, I don’t see voices like mine on the shelves at the bookstore and on other Christian platforms.

I hear you. We all learn and process things through our own cultural lens. That’s not a problem when we’re aware of that and are willing to learn from other cultures as well. Black theology and Asian theology and Latino theology can give us unique insights into our Christian faith.  The issue lies in that White Christians often think their theology is not affected by their cultural lens, they simply call it theology, or orthodox theology when it is really White, or European-theology.

In western nations, one expression of Christian faith is thought about as the truest or purest, when in reality there is much beauty as well as many shortcomings in White theology. If we begin to value the Christian traditions and teachings from other cultures, many of the holes in White theology would be filled and our faith would be far more robust as it would reflect wisdom God has dispersed throughout the entire body of Christ.

I don’t find the waters hard to navigate because I just do what God called me to do no matter where that fits into others’ perception.

Me: Has there ever been a time in your life when you’ve had to Begin Again?

Every day is a chance to begin again. Some people may feel that a horrible car accident has to happen to make you realize you have a second chance. I think waking up each morning is our second chance. We should live in the present moment because we’re constantly starting over.

“The only place to know God is the present.” {Tweet This}

We can’t control what’s coming. I talk about this in my video, “I’m Not the Future.”

Me: What are you reading right now? What is on your nightstand?

  • Assata: An Autobiography of Assata Shakur
  • Palante by Young Lords Party
  • No Future Without Forgiveness of Desmond Tutu
  • Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
  • Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr.

Me: What do young hip hop artists, writers, creatives, and poets need to know?

“Create boldly and unapologetically.” {Tweet This}

Now is the time to create boldly, fiercely, and unapologetically. Keep creating even if you’re rejected. A great book to read is Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

Micah, I really appreciate the opportunity to have a conversation with you. It has left me quite inspired!

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Micah’s words are fresh, lyrical, and intelligent. His hip hop beginnings are prevalent in his spoken word and his faith is unapologetic.

You can find a few of his performances here:

Confident Uncertainty

Upside Down

Micah’s deep hope for the world, even if our hope seems to be stapled in a deep confusion, is a welcoming glimmer of light. One that I totally want to hang on to.

About the series:

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Series Begins March 5, 2017

Have you ever heard God ask you to Begin Again? His grace is a huge do-over button. Don’t you agree? Sometimes we don’t think we have what it takes to start life over again because that takes renegade faith. Renegade faith is the kind of faith which causes us to dig deep into uncharted waters and navigate through all those blisters of hurt to find our soul grace. Renegade faith is where we Begin Again.

The Begin Again series launches every Sunday from March 5th to May 28th

Join Cisneros Cafe next week with another guest post.

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