African American congregations have long been celebrated as a locus for powerful, prophetic preaching, but at its best they have also embraced a strong pastoral and wisdom dimension as well, what Kenyatta Gilbert calls a trivocal impulse. Yet African American preaching today is more threatened than ever imagined and must now overcome its own apparent irrelevance in an increasingly pluralistic, postmodern age of intense spiritual and social crisis.
Gilbert asserts that the survival of both black churches and African America at large is directly tied to recovering this trivocal character of gospel proclamation. He closely examines the functions of all these strains of African American preaching in churches and communities, provides road maps for recovering one's authentic preaching voice, and highlights preachers who embody this trivocal proclamation style. The Journey and Promise of African American Preaching is a constructive effort to examine the historical contributions of African American preaching, the challenges it faces today, and how it might become a renewed source of healing and strength for at-risk communities and churches.