Published from 1987 to 1995, Black Sacred Music sought to establish theomusicology—a theologically informed musicology—as a distinct discipline, incorporating methods from anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy to examine the full range of black sacred music. Topics included black secular music, the early days of rap, soul, jazz, civil rights songs, the religious music of Africa and the African diaspora, spirituals, gospel music, and the music of the black church.
The journal consisted of scholarly articles, essays, hymns and folk songs, sermons, historical reprints, and reviews of books, hymn books, and recordings. It also published volumes of archival writings by R. Nathaniel Dett, William Grant Still, and Willis Laurence James.
Notable contributors: Philip V. Bohlman, Michael Eric Dyson, Andrew Greeley, Mark Sumner Harvey, Willie James Jennings, D. Soyini Madison, Sonja Peterson-Lewis, Harold Dean Trulear, William C. Turner Jr., Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, Cornel West, Jeremiah A. Wright. Jr.