"The African American Heritage Hymnal is
probably the most important addition to
Protestant hymnody within the past century."
- Wyatt Tee Walker, Senior Pastor,
Canaan Baptist Church, New York.
From the Hymnal Introduction.
A African American Heritage Hymnal for
Protestant African American Churches that
has endeavored to preserve the rich oral
tradition of African American sacred song in
The unique style and performance practice of
the African American Church-heretofore
handed down from generation to generation by
oral tradition-has now been codified in
print. A highly qualified committee of more
than thirty Black pastors and church
musicians has worked for eight years to
compile and edit this collection, taking
great care to notate traditional hymns the
way they are actually sung in African
American churches. This project has been
eight years in the making!
While created especially for African
American Protestant churches, this historic
hymnal is destined to find its way into the
personal library of each and every church
musician, hymnologist, and ethnomusicologist
active throughout the world today.
Because of GIA's landmark publication, Lead
Me, Guide Me-a hymnal for Black Catholics,
GIA was approached by a group of African
American pastors and musicians, led by the
Rev. Dr. Delores Carpenter and the Rev.
Nolan E. Williams, Jr., about the
possibility of producing a similar book for
Protestants. Eight years and countless
meetings later, this 1100-page hymnal of
historic proportions is the result.
The African American Heritage Hymnal
Contains 52 Sundays of responsive readings,
52 Sundays of litanies developed around the
concept of a Black liturgical year, 586
hymns and songs, and extensive indices.