Keeping the Faith

African-American Sermons of Liberation
Edited by James Haskins
ISBN 9781566491921 (hardcover)
Published in April 2002
MSRP $30.00
"James Haskins has approached the majesty and mystery of the African-American preacher with wonderful respect and appreciation. In Keeping the Faith, the reader can hear the great drama that is enacted in the pulpit of the African-American church and the melody the preacher composes as he speaks. We find the soft voice telling us secrets made just our ears, and the bombastic voice meant to raise the dead, to reach the hard of hearing, and to change the hardened heart."
- Maya Angelou
Contains sermons and other texts by:
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
C.L. Franklin
James Weldon Johnson
Absalom Jones
Wyatt Tee Walker
Jasper Williams, Jr.
Gardner C. Taylor
Samuel Dewitt Proctor
Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
Katie G. Cannon
W. Franklyn Richardson I
Carol Ann North
C.C. Lovelace
Frederick Boyd Williams
...and more

African-American preachers are - and have always been - much more than mere purveyors of the Word of God They are also cultural and social historians, repositories of traditions reaching far back into the past and across oceans. They lead their people in protesting the inequities and tribulations of life, and inspire their listeners to have hope for this world as well as for the one that follows. Storyteller, historian, activist, revolutionary, spiritual leader, provider, crusader - the roles of African-American preachers, male and female, have played in the lives of their parishioners have been rich and varied, and have moved and aroused generations. The messages and the very cadences of their sermons have influenced and been echoed in black poetry and prose, and even appeared in such nonreligious compositions as modern rap music.

Featuring stirring sermons by C.L. Franklin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Wyatt Tee Walker, and others, and accompanied by a CD containing ten sermons, including six sermons not available in the book, Keeping the Faith is a tribute to the immeasurable and timeless wealth of traditions and feelings the African-American preachers have given us through the centuries. Compiled and edited by James Haskins and introduced by Maya Angelou, this remarkable collection invites the reader to share the joys and woes, insights and inspiration of a group of men and women who are the bedrock of African-American faith and culture.