IGNITE’s Real Talks event for Black History Month on Thursday will feature a contentious hip-hop aficionado known by his stage name Charlamagne tha God.

The event will launch at 1:30 p.m. in the Student Centre at Humber College’s North Campus, and is free of charge for all who wish to attend.

Lenard McKelvey, the 42-year-old father behind the professional pseudonym Charlamagne tha God, is a radio host and TV presenter based in the United States, known for often provocative and sometimes contentious radio shows.

McKelvey will be speaking on his New York Times Bestselling memoir Black Privilege,m and share more about his unlikely success story, the event description read, explaining that he will promote “that embracing one’s truths is a fundamental key to success and happiness.”

The talk with Charlamange will be hosted by pop culture critic and author Dalton Higgins, according to the IGNITE event page.

Students will have a chance to ask questions and engage in a book signing meet and greet after the event, on a “first come, first serve” basis.

Charlamange is best known for co-hosting a nationally syndicated radio show called “The Breakfast Club”, a progressive morning show discussing the hip-hop scene, popular culture and current politics.

When asked by CNN about his book Black Privilege, Charlamagne said that while there is still injustice and he fights against institutionalized racism and systemic oppression, he still thinks “it’s a privilege to be black. Period.”

“My black skin is not a burden or a liability. Your racism and your bigotry is.”

The African-American radio personality told ABC’s Nightline that black people “have access to a divine system that enables us to get through a lot of the obstacles that are thrown at us in America and allows us to prosper in spite of everything that we’ve been through.”

“I’m not trying to negate white privilege at all, nor am I trying to let America and white people off the hook for everything that they’ve done to oppress and marginalize various communities, especially the black community in America,”  he told ABC News.

“All I’m simply saying is we’re special too.”

The South Carolina native Charlamagne came up with his stage name from melding his drug dealer cover “Charles” with Roman Emperor Charlemagne and adding “tha God” because “it sounded cool”.

McKelvey grew up in the small town of Moncks Corner, telling ABC that he was jailed five or six times and dealt crack before eventually turning his life around and starting a career in radio.

More details to follow. Image of Charlemagne tha God from The Daily Beast.


Written by Eli Ridder

Eli Ridder is a journalism student at the University of Guelph-Humber and a senior correspondent for multiple independent publications including, but not limited to, The Anon Journal, Berning Media Network and the Ribbon. Find out more at eliridder.ca

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