Although Henry Louis Gates examined the ways in which African slave language formed the metaphors for African American poetry and fiction in The Signifying Monkey, there have been no studies of the theological and ethical significance of the salutations of black Americans until now. In Dark Salutations, Riggins Earl examines black American's ethnocentric verbalized salutary expressions brotherman" and "sistergirl," for example that dominate their ritualistic moments of social encounter. The noticeable religious content of some of these salutations drives us to examine blacks understandings of God and brother/sisterhood challenges: Is God a respecter of persons? Or, have black people understood God to be "faithfully for them and with them" politically and spiritually? Have black people understood themselves to be "trustfully for and with" each other spiritually and politically? Have black people understood themselves to be "trustfully for and with" even the whites who oppressed them? Earl argues that these salutary expressions show how blacks have lived with the burdensome challenge of having to prove their sisterly and brotherly capacities, and with the insatiable desire to be treated as equal siblings in the family of God. .