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    Lil Yachty Shows Dr. Umar a Race-Shifting Jesus Painting

    In a recent video, rapper Lil Yachty presented Dr. Umar Johnson, an American Black activist and social media influencer, with a unique piece of art. The painting, which concealed its true nature by showcasing Jesus as a white man at first sight, symbolically portrayed him as a Black man when opened.

    The painting portrays a powerful message by metaphorically hiding black identity within mainstream historical and cultural references. Largely important cultural figures such as Jesus are traditionally depicted as white, making black people unable to relate or express their voice regarding such figures.

    Thus, by informing Dr. Umar about the hidden artwork, Lil Yachty effectively started the discussion of the issues of race, identity, and representation. Moreover, Lil Yachty’s example made the viewers realize the significance of visual images and memorials, the importance of having a voice for the people represented in the art, and the need to oppose the dominant discourse that can reinforce harmful stereotypes or erase certain cultures.

    One could also interpret Lil Yachty’s act as a cultural statement on the issue, demonstrating how the issues of race and representation could be creatively addressed to provoke thought on diversity and actual inclusion.

    Considered a controversial figure and Pan-Africanist, Dr. Umar Johnson talked about perception and faith in creating reality, valuing cognitive dissonance and its role in accepting the truth. He also criticized the volume of reading and education, focusing on the attitude that society takes and the impact of social media on learning.

    The discussion further ventured into the cultural view of education within the Black community. Dr. Johnson pointed out a worrying trend of minimal investment in reading materials that the Black community showed toward education. He further remarked on the behavioral separation of Blacks into African immigrants and African Americans, whose educational attitudes vary due to the many systemic obstacles encountered by the latter.

    When Lil Yachty shows the man a different picture from him, it is a symbolic act with a potential for a meaningful conversation, reflection, or cultural assessment, including interpretation in terms of race, identity, and representation. This gesture is art’s power to make people think and bring change.

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