Historical criticism attempts to read texts in their original situations, informed by literary and cultural conventions reconstructed from comparable texts and artifacts. African American interpretation extends this approach to questions about race and social location for the ancient text, its reception history, and its modern readers. It arose as a corrective and alternative to white supremacist use of the Bible in moral and political arguments regarding race, civil rights, and social justice. Accordingly, African American interpretation has combined the insights of abolitionists and activists with academic tools to demonstrate how biblical interpretation can function as an instrument of oppression, obfuscation, or opportunity. Of course, most of these developments have occurred in the larger framework of American Christianity. Yet, its analyses reach beyond that specific setting, touching on the connections between the Bible and race in public discourse generally, whether in government, academia, or popular culture.