In 2016, Daniel Hibbert was commissioned by the James Weldon Johnson Literary Foundation to complete a seven-piece series of paintings inspired by Johnson's book "God's Trombones". Perhaps one of Johnson's most well known literary compositions, "God's Trombones" was written as a poetic homage to the "old-time negro preacher". Written in 1927, Johnson endeavored to capture the essence of the dramatic and poetic sermons of black preachers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He considered their style of delivery a dying art form and their role in history as one that must be remembered for generations to come. In the preface of "God's Trombones", Johnson explains the importance of the preacher in the black community:
"It was through [the negro preacher] that people of diverse languages and customs who were brought [to America] from diverse parts of Africa and thrown into slavery were given their first sense of unity and solidarity...The old time preacher was generally a man far above the average intelligence; he was, not infrequently a man of positive genius... They were the first of the slaves to learn to read, and their reading was confounded to the Bible, and specifically to the more dramatic passages of the Old Testament... His imagination was bold and unfettered. He often possessed a voice he could modulate from a sepulchral whisper to a crashing thunder clap."
"God's Trombones" is a book containing seven poems - each Johnson's re-imagination of a sermon from the Bible in the manner which an "old-time negro preacher" might have delivered it. In his visual interpretation of Johnson's poetry, Hibbert captures the bold colors and imagery within each poem. Considering how a former slave, unable to read would be reliant on storytelling to learn, Hibbert chooses abstraction to replicate how images are abstracted in the mind of a listener. Each painting appears fragmented, with patterned shapes seemingly stitched together like a preacher threads his sermon. Hibbert uses texture, space, and color to tell stories in a style reminiscent of story quilts, an early 20th century African-American tradition of telling stories through vibrant color, abstraction, and improvisation.