How does a young man growing up in an “under resourced” community make sense of the mystical experiences that began at the age of 14 years old spending time with friends? By making his exploration of African American religion and theology the center point of his spiritual and academic development – and helping others through the process. This episode explores Cleve’s development and the dissertation that has provided him the container to examine his thinking as it relates to those thoughts and thinkers who have influenced him. At Princeton Theological Seminary, Cleve, began to expand his understanding of the great thinkers within Black Theology and African American Cultural studies including people such as Hortense Spillers, W.E.B. Du Bois, Cornell West, James Cone, Martin Luther King Jr, and others. Cleve provides a deeper understanding of Black critical thought, and how this intellectual tradition has influenced religion and culture. Interwoven into this rich conversation, we also discuss personal symbols for Cleve such as how N.W.A provided a means by which Cleve, as a young guy, began to understand his cultural upbringing and the basic struggle as an adolescent boy – in particular what factors shaped his understanding of himself, of his religion, and of his community.