Black Church, Part 5–It’s Preaching Time!!!

“A-maaaaaaa….zeen graaaaaazzzze….

How sweeeeet, the-uh sowww-unddd 


Tha-at saaaave…uh-huuuh wreeeech

Li-iiiike meeeee-eeee! 


I-iii wuuuunce wuz loss….

But now eye-mm foun’ 


Wuz blin’, but now…

Eye-eye ceeee….”


Oh, don’t try to sing it from the hymnal, Brittney. Nobody use them hymnals anyway, ‘cept for you White visitors. Black people just sing, even if we don’t know the words.

Don’t believe me? Just look around. Half the niggas in here don’t know the words, we just holler what we hear the next person sing.

Oh, and by the way, “sing” in present tense, past tense, and/or future tense, is pronounced, “sang.” As in, “She sho’ kin sang, caint she?” That can mean today, tomorrow, last week, or next year, it all depends on context.

Remember Rule # 48? BlackSpeak is totally dependent on context.

This is Second Sunday, so we’re singing “Amazing Grace.” Next Sunday is Lord’s Supper Sunday, so the song is different. It’ll be the old Negro Spiritual, “Dark Is De Night, Cold Is De Ground”.


You never heard it?

What do you White people do in church anyway, eat quiche?

“Dark Is The Night” is an old, I mean old number, first played by Blind Willie Johnson, back in ’27. It’s on YouTube, if you’re interested, but don’t expect much singing, I mean sanging.

Take a listen…

Willie don’t sang, he just play and moan the song. Blind Willie was really blind, he wasn’t playing blind to sell records, like some of them other Blind Boys do.

How many “Blind Boys” they got, anyway? The 5 Blind Boys, The Blind Boys From Mississippi, The Blind Boys of Alabama….Schit, there aint that many blind singers in America. I think some of ‘em be perpetratin’…

Now, Blind Willie is really blind. What happened was, his stepmomma was doing the double-butt shuffle with another man, and Willie’s daddy caught ‘em. She got mad, and grabbed some lye, and threw it in Willie’s face, and it got in his eyes and blinded him. Willie was just 7 years old, poor thing. If I was Willie’s daddy, I’d be in jail now.

No, I forgot, I live in Louisiana, we got temporary insanity defense over here. I’d be on her grave, on my knees, still beating her azz….

Anyway, this is how that song goes:

 “Dark was the night and cold was the ground…. On which the Lord was laid;

The sweat like drops of blood run down…..In agony he prayed…”

Yeah. Real spooky. We like schit like that. The deacon call out the line, then everybody joins in, real slow. We call it, “The Hymn of Preparation,” which means, “All right, Rev, time to preach! And after a song like that, you better do something!”

Oh, I almost forgot, class….you did bring a Bible, didn’t you?

Yes, a Bible. That’s what Rev is gonna preach from.

I know, you’re used to sermons that come out of Reader’s Digest or Charisma, but we don’t play that here. Rev gotta come out of the Book! If he don’t, old Mother Jones will give him the stank-eye, fold her arms, and don’t say nothing!

Every Black Church got an old Church Mother whose job it is to let folks know if Rev is preaching right or not, ’cause some people need help. If she waving her hands and saying “Amen!” real loud, Rev’s preaching! If not, oh well…..unless, of course, Rev is on a sticky topic that hits her in the mug.

Like, last week, Rev talked about gay marriage………

“This week on the news, they was talkin’ about gay marriage…’scuse me, chirren, but I want to know somethin’…what the HELL is gay……marriage?”

Everybody holler, “Talk, Reverend, talk!”

“What in HELL…’scuse me, y’all just gotta pray for me, I get upset when I hears foolishness like this…..”

“Go ‘head, Pastor, go ‘head! Talk, Doctor!”

“What do they meeeen…two mens…two hard-leg mens….two sweaty mens…”

Percy on the organ raise his hand, and say, “Yes, Lawd, Yesss, Lawd!!!” but everybody else says, “Help us, Lawd, help us!”

(Mom Jones try to give Percy a look, but she can forget that. Percy havin’ a flashback from last night with Randy; Rev is hitting Percy’s sweet spot…)

“Two mens…. standin’ up in chu’ch? Wantin’ to get married? What kind o’ church is that?”

“Jee-sus! JEE-sus!” The crowd’s all in it, now…

“When Gawd.. stood in the Garden of Eden, with Eve in one hand, and Adam in the other, Gawd wasn’t blind!

Gawd wasn’t crazy!

And Adam wasn’t crazy, neither! He say, ‘for this cause…..shall a man leeeeeeeeve his father and mother…..and cleeeeeeeeee to his wife! Adam wasn’t lookin’ for Steeeeeeve, Adam had Eeeeeeeeeve!”

And, there you go. Rev was just-a gettin‘ it, preaching a mile-a-minute on gay marriage, and po’ Mother had to sit with her lips tight, because everybody know her grandson Percy shackin’ up with Randy Fremont over there on Cutler Street. She try and play it off, callin’ them “roommates,” but everybody know what the deal is. Randy wears a size 16 shoe, if you get my drift, and Percy?

He walk in church every Sunday with a limp, and he wasn’t born with it, neither.

Hey, I’m just sayin’….


Okay, hush, here come Rev!


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