1st Edition

Black British Gospel Music From the Windrush Generation to Black Lives Matter

    262 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Black British Gospel Music is a dynamic and multifaceted musical practice, a diasporic river rooted in the experiences of Black British Christian communities. This book examines gospel music in Britain in both historical and contemporary perspectives, demonstrating the importance of this this vital genre to scholars across disciplines. Drawing on a plurality of voices, the book examines the diverse streams that contribute to and flow out of this significant genre. Gospel can be heard resonating within a diverse array of Christian worship spaces; as a form of community music-making in school halls; and as a foundation for ‘secular’ British popular music, including R&B, hip hop and grime.

    Introduction: Rivers of Babylon: Contextualizing Black British Gospel Music

    Pauline Muir, Dulcie Dixon McKenzie, and Monique M. Ingalls

    1 Look Where God has Brought Us! Remembering the Religious Foundations of Black British Gospel Music

    Dulcie Dixon McKenzie

    2 ‘Gifts and Talents’: Sacred and secular musical performance at a suburban British Pentecostal church

    Natalie Hyacinth

    3 Just Like Church, Not Like Church, or Better Than Church? Community Gospel Choirs as Lived Religion and Convivial Spiritual Practice in the Contemporary United Kingdom

    Monique M. Ingalls

    4 Black British Gospel Music: A Perspective from A Reluctant Choir Director

    Geraldine Latty Luce

    5 Black British Gospel-Pop Crossover: ‘Gospel Codes’ in the Music of Stormzy and Mica Paris

    Matthew Williams

    6 The ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’ interplay within gospel grime performance

    Samson Tosin Onafuye

    7 Don’t shoot the Messi(nJ)ah: Charting the growth of the Gospel in Great British Grime music

    Monique Charles

    8 The Jamaican Bible Remix: A theomusicological praxis for bridging the gap between Black Liberation Theology and Contemporary Gospel Music in Britain

    Robert Beckford

    9 Black British Gospel Music and the Question of Belief (in God)

    Alexander Douglas

    10 Decolonising Congregational Music

    Pauline Muir

    11 Black British Gospel Music Past, Present, and Future: Final Reflections from the Editors

    Dulcie Dixon McKenzie, Pauline Muir, and Monique M. Ingalls

    Afterword: We Need Black Power, Lord! Reflections on Black British Gospel Music

    William Ackah


    Dulcie Dixon McKenzie is the Director of the Centre for Black Theology at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham, UK.  She achieved her PhD at the University of Birmingham and has published in the area of Black British gospel music and church history. She is a multiple award-winning pioneer of Black British gospel music Radio, including a lifetime achievement award. 

    Pauline Muir is a lecturer in Arts Management at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Awarded a PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London interrogating congregation music within UK Black majority Churches, her research interests are in the intricate interplay between ‘race’, identity, congregational music and the Black British Gospel industry.

    Monique M. Ingalls is Associate Professor of Music and Church Music Graduate Program Director at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, USA. She is the author and editor of several books on congregational music-making and serves as series editor of Routledge’s Congregational Music Studies Book Series.