Why are black churches so loud? No seriously, has anyone ever asked you that? I know I’ve gotten the question before and after pondering it I realized that is a pretty accurate statement. Think about it. Have you ever been to a historically African American church? The choirs can sing and they sing loudly. The preachers are typically animated as well. After some research I’ve found like many things in life a history lesson lies behind this tale and it’s not just because black people are ‘loud’ ( I hate that stereotype by the way).
It all dates back to the eighteenth century. African Americans were still slaves but were permitted to attend their master’s churches. However there were many restrictions and it was clear that they were not welcome. Blacks did not enjoy these services and began to separate to have their own form of church.
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In the South black churches began to establish with the help of sympathetic whites. Because white preachers were not interested in preaching to a black congregation, masters freed slaves to preach the word of God in these churches.
Overtime black churches developed the reputation of being expressive and charismatic in service. Even now many black preachers are known for preaching in a sing-song style that evokes chords from the musicians or maybe even a song from the preacher.
During the civil rights movement churches were more than just a place of worship, they also served as social and political meeting places. Music played a intricate part of both settings becoming a staple of black churches. The call and response style of songs encouraged participation amongst members and helped members learn information quickly. Music was used to spread messages in protests, rallies, and other events.
Many years have passed yet worship in black churches still includes exciting preaching, music, and audience participation.
Next time someone ask why black churches are so loud, you can intelligently respond “black churches are loud because they are not only filled with stirring music but also with rich tradition and history.”