The Journal of Traditions & Beliefs


This essay explores the praying grounds and contested terrains of African American sacred music in the twenty-first century. After presenting a womanist interdisciplinary methodology for experiencing and analyzing African American sacred music, the essay then (1) provides a socio-historical overview of the various types of music in the canopy of Black sacred music (2) examines selected music from several genres (3) analyzes some theological and ethical doctrines grounded in and emerging from particular musical selections and (4) offers reflections on some critical issues that are contested and need to inform music used in worship given emerging issues in African American sacred contexts, particularly as we live in a twenty-first century global community.