"The Black presence is a subversive presence in the United States because it calls forth a subversive memory, one that subverts reality by exposing the often sordid truths behind the claims we make about ourselves as a nation and a people. Our very existence invokes the memory of the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow and forces acknowledgment of the reality that the social constructs of racism, sexism, and ethnocentrism were not overcome but still persist. Yet, we as a people still have hope in and continue to work for what can still yet be, a nation of equals where all men and women are free to live their lives as they so desire.

"African American spirituality persists. It grounds African Americans in their past but helps to free them for their future. It is a potent source of energy released through the Holy Spirit that feeds their souls and sustains them over rough places and smooth. It is found in the moaning cry of a mother who finds herself without a job or a home and with children to feed but who fights to keep her family together. It is heard in the angry voices of those who protest the closing of schools in Black neighborhoods and the denial of decent education to so many who are poor. It is to be seen in the efforts of so many Black teachers who buy needed supplies for their children because the children's parents cannot afford to buy them. It is heard in the growing number of women's voices who are preaching the gospel despite the obstacles and resistance to their ministries. African American spirituality is found still in the wail of the jazz saxophone and the pounding of the gospel piano, in the rap and hip-hop songs of today's Black youth as they protest against the conditions in which they live. Black/African American spirituality enables Black Americans to keep their 'eyes on the prize and hold on,' knowing that God is still with them and continues to guide them enabling them to move upward and onward toward the 'kin-dom.' "