Review Of ' The Ministry Of Music On The Black Church

1430 Words Dec 15th, 2016 6 Pages
Introduction and Thesis

Music is an inseparable element of Black life and therefore Black worship. The Black Church understands worship to be a communal act of adoration towards God that may involve praise or petition via song, dance, music (use of instruments), recitation, meditation, chanting, and or prayer (Mason, 2016). According to James Cone, Black music is unity music because it unites…the hope and despair;…and it moves the people towards the direction of total liberation; and confronts the individual with the truth of black existence and affirms that black being is possible only in the communal context (p. 5). It is with this understanding that black people worship through music and without this understanding worship and music are diluted. J. Wendell Mapson articulated this idea in his book, The Ministry of Music in the Black Church, when he noted that purpose of worship is forfeited when singing music that has no relationship to everyday life, and the worshipper becomes disconnected from the way music and worship have historically served blacks (41). In this same vain, James Cone asserted that Black music is theological because it reveals how God moves people towards unity and self-determination.
Such unity and self-determination was evidenced in 1801, when Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church published a hymnal by and for African Americans (Costen, 81). Hymns have served black people in their everyday lives and had and have…
Open Document