Rationale for a History of "Readings": The history of the engagement of the Bible among African Americans is dramatic and complex and has important implications for biblical interpretation. It provides the student of the Bible not only a conceptual window onto a dramatic and complex history of self-definitions and worldviews among those in the modern world who now call themselves African Americans, but also the opportunity to rethink the basic hermeneutical assumptions about biblical interpretation, especially its focus upon the ancient text and/or ancient historical situation as the starting and end point of interpretation. The critical juxtaposition of the Bible and African Americans can provoke thinking about whether the interpretive agenda can or should be focused around text as opposed to "world."
Wimbush, Vincent L. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, s.v. "African Americans and the Bible." San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996. 15-16.