[Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Black Preaching]

Original Title

Mitchell, Dr. Henry H., History and Cultural Perspective of Black Preaching

Streaming Media

Media is loading


Martin Luther King Fellows In Black Religious Studies, Inc. Collection

Document Type


Date Information

circa 1972

Playing Time



Dr. Henry Mitchell delivers a lecture on historical and cultural perspectives of Black preaching. In the lecture Dr. Mitchell traces Black preaching to the oral traditions of Africa. He also discusses the loss of solitude in preaching due to urbanization.

File Name



00:00:05 Dean Nichols introduces Dr. Henry Mitchell.

00:04:46 Dr. Mitchell thanks Dean Nichols.

00:06:31 Prayer.

00:06:58 Introduces his subject, Historical and Cultural Perspectives on Black Preaching.

00:07:51 Talks about how it is necessary to correct history and more importantly to clear up own motives or self-perceptions.

00:09:14 Talks about how God has brought Black preaching at its best.

00:09:58 Talks about Africa and a lot of what is done in the Black pulpit is rooted in African tradition. Also talks about what pre-Christian African traditional religions preach and what their gospel was.

00:13:48 Talks about the love of oratory and praises speeches in the African tradition.

00:15:32 Talks about how stories were told in a language that sounded like chanting and was not just entertainment.

00:21:38 Talks about how African tradition had a rich oral tradition and when Africans came to the U.S. they were accustomed to the power of words.

00:23:13 Talks about how the bible became the Black man’s oral tradition.

00:29:38 Talks about how we have eroded African traditional model.

00:31:07 Audio cuts off.

00:31:26 Audio returns with Dr. Henry Mitchell speaking about solitude and standing still.

00:32:30 Talks about erosion of the church due to massive repression which occurred after the withdrawing of the troops in the South at the end of reconstruction.

00:33:53 Talks about how preaching ought still be a folk phenomenon and not an academic enterprise.

00:34:34 Says that anyone who wants to go against what they have learned and stored up in their culture is fighting a mighty big enemy.

00:35:07 Points out that those who fight the culture of the people soon die and soon kill their churches, and how Black preachers use the culture of the masses.

00:39:19 Talks about cultural gospel, culture commonality and Black extended family.

00:45:26 Ends sermon.


The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library acknowledges the generous support of the National Endowment for Humanities - Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Implementation Project Grant in supporting the processing and digitization of a number of its major archival collections as part of the project: Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to African American Religious Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.


All audio content in this collection is protected by copyright or is the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information or to inquire about permission to publish, please contact archives@auctr.edu.



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.