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Interview: ‘When Sunday Comes’ Author Talks Gospel Music’s Impact on American Culture

How has gospel music impacted U.S. culture? What distinguishes gospel from contemporary Christian music? How did gospel artists like Andrae Crouch and the Winans break racial barriers in popular Christian music? We sit down with Dr. Claudrena N. Harold for insights about the history and impact of gospel music on American and African American culture.

Harold is a history professor and chair of the history department at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. In her latest book, When Sunday Comes: Gospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras, Harold takes a deep dive into the history of key artists and developments that shaped gospel music after the civil rights era.

The interview below includes a transcript and video responses from the author. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menzie a religion reporter whose bylines have appeared on the websites of the Religion News Service, The Christian Post, CBS News and Vibe magazine. Nicola is the Managing Editor at You can find her on Twitter @namenzie. Email: nicola.menzie (at)

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