The Hum

Call and Response in African American Preaching

Paperback ISBN: 9780687180202
$19.99 Show Buy

Published March 1995

In The Hum: Call and Response in African Preaching, Evans E. Crawford, with Thomas H. Troeger, relates his analysis of African American folk preaching by relying upon an indigenous scheme for evaluation.  The call/response tension in black preaching (derived from a West African tradition) is what drives the musicality of speech in black churches.  Crawford refers to this musicality as "hum thoughts" and one can imagine the choir responding with a low rumbling hum to the musical intonations of a motivated preacher.

Key features: a new volume in the Abingdon Preacher's Library, edited by Thomas H. Troeger; a different approach to preaching, firmly rooted in the black experience; leads the reader to understand preaching as an oral event; uses the term "homiletical musicality" to describe the musical understanding of the way sermons are heard and the oral response they awaken in the listener; and, coins new phrases for describing the preaching event.

About the Author

Evans Crawford

Interim Dean, Howard University School of Divinity