African-American preaching arises out of the cultural and religious experiences of the oppressed. It reaches people in their dislocation and relocates them in God and in the promise of a brighter future.
Although they bear the stamp of gifted poets such as David, the Psalms are conventional worship texts, adapted to the needs of the community as a whole. The prophetic voice that often speaks in the Psalms reflects their development through the work of the Levitical musicians of the sanctuary.
A careful survey of scriptural evidence discloses that the worship of the Lord is most significantly influenced, and often expressly led, by persons functioning in a prophetic role (as opposed to a priestly role). Prophets served as mediators of the covenant; they were closely associated with the sanctuary and vitally concerned with the integrity of worship; they functioned as directors and musicians.