Forged in the Fiery Furnace
Today's vibrant African American spiritual traditions have their roots in the lives of Africans who arrived as slaves in North America, bringing with them the richness and texture of their cultures and faith. In the words of Dr. Hayes, "The world view, traditions, stories, musicality, and religious beliefs of their African ancestors were preserved ... built upon, syncretized with new understandings and ideas, and passed down from generation to generation, mother to son, father to daughter."
In eight chapters, Hayes describes the origins of African American spirituality, developments during slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the periods of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement; the manifestations of this spirituality in music and in the Black churches; the particular contributions of Black women; and the spirituality of key Black leaders.
Diana L. Hayes, professor emerita of systematic theology at Georgetown University, is a popular lecturer and the author of several books.