Religion: A Documentary History Project
Several goals have guided our thinking in designing this course. Our primary goal is to help you explore the diversity of African American beliefs, experiences, and expressions from the colonial era to the present. This exploration will be both historical and thematic. On one hand, it will help you to recognize changes and continuities over time (historical development) within African American religious traditions. On the other hand, it will help you to discern and analyze the inherent plurality of belief, worship, and devotional practice within African American communities at any given moment (thematic development).
One important conceptual tool that we will use in our discussions of religious experience is what might be termed radical objectivity. For the purpose of discussion and exploration, we begin with the premise that all religious beliefs are equally valid and true. We are not here to debate the truth or falsehood of any particular religious claims; instead, we seek to confront our academically grounded disbelief, and move toward a stance of radical objectivity when addressing issues of belief and supernatural process. Our goal is to examine how religious experiences function in the lives of individuals and communities; more specifically, we hope to assess how religion has shaped, and been shaped by, the experiences of African Americans. With this in mind, we will discuss the roles of politics, class and gender, and artistry as they relate to the creation and continuation of religious traditions.
Lectures, discussions, and readings all contribute to the kind of learning that shows up well on written tests. But there are many other ways to learn. In this class, we also hope to learn by encounter and engagement. Towards this end, well be inviting believers into the classroom through the course of this semester, allowing us to encounter first-hand the power of their testimonies. At the same time, well ask each of you to step into their religious worlds, so that you can experience the community of worship and the actual practice of faith. Youll take this step in two ways: through a set of solo fieldwork exercises, and through a group project that will yield a class presentation and a group paper. You will also have a chance to demonstrate your learning on an essay midterm (or on an alternate, do-at-home paper) and an essay final. The assignments for this semester are:
(1) INDIVIDUAL FIELD EXERCISE: The first assignmentdue February 11is an eight- to ten-page field report that analytically compares two African American church services, one from a church that defines itself as sanctified, and a second from a church that pursues a more mainstream, less Spirit-driven approach.
Sanctified churches are those that freely acknowledge the Holy Spirits active participation in worship. Their services are typically quite lively, and are often marked by spiritual shouting, tongue-speaking, holy dancing, and anointed preaching. All holiness, Pentecostal, and Disciple assemblies fall in this category, as do many independent churches and Missionary Baptist congregations.
Mainstream churchesincluding most National Baptist and Methodist (A.M.E., A.M.E.Z., C.M.E.) congregationsfavor a less emotional, often less participatory, and usually more ordered form of worship. Their services are usually less free-form than their sanctified counterparts, and the Spirits presence is not nearly as overt. Hence youll witness far fewer signs of the Spirit in these churches. But dont let this difference mislead youovert expressions of faith arent by any means the only measure of spirituality . . . .
Weve got two ends in mind for this exercise. The first is to get you into churches early in the semester, and to get you thinking about the diversity of African American worship. The second is to encourage you to analytically address this diversity. Towards this end, we dont want you to hand us a simple, step-by-step description of the services. Rather, we want you to thoughtfully discuss the services differences and similarities, elaborating on the matters that struck you most forcefully. These might include worship sequence, degree of congregational participation, preaching and praying styles, foregrounded themes in prayers and sermons, gender balance (in both the congregation and the church leadership), degrees of spontaneity/formality, styles ofand roles played bymusic, aural dynamics (overall loudness, and the shifting contours of soft and loud, smooth and raspy, high pitch and low pitch), spatial use, and costuming. This list is by no means comprehensive; nor do we expect you to address all of these issues. Instead, we want you to choose those factors that stood out in your mind, and use these as a basis for thoughtful discussion.
Your paper should be typed and double-spaced, and should reference class discussions and/or readings whenever such references seem appropriate. We particularly encourage you to include materials drawn from conversations with churchgoers, recorded after your visit to their services. Their thoughts on your observations will only strengthen your paper.
Since you have only five Sundays between now and this papers due-date, we recommend that you begin thinking about churches immediately. For those who arent familiar with local congregations, well be happy to guide you to appropriate churches. At any rate, wed like you to discuss your choices with us before you attend your second service. When planning your visits, feel free to consider services other than those on Sunday morning. Make sure, however, that the services are comparable. In other words, dont attend a Sunday morning service at one church and a Wednesday night prayer meeting at another. Comparison is much easier when youre not trying to liken apples to oranges.
(2) GROUP FIELD PROJECT: In order to explore the textured layers of African American belief, well have to move beyond the classroom and actively engage believers on their own turf. Well do this by going into the community in research teams, each of which will conduct an in-depth investigation of some aspect of African American belief. In our third class session, we will divide into six groups of five to six students. Each of these teams will then be responsible for developing and conductingover the course of the full semestera field-based research project. On April 20 and 22, each of these teams will have twenty minutes to present their project to the class. At the close of each presentation, the presenting group will hand in a seven- to ten-page paper setting forth the issues explored in their fieldwork project and the conclusions reached. The grade the group earns will be shared by each of the group-members.
The key to making these projects work is focus. Students often take on projects that are conceived far too broadly; they tend to underestimate the layered nature of experience and personal testimony. Topics like the history of gospel music, African American preaching styles, or the religious politics of rap are simply too broad for coherent, 20-minute presentations. But if these topics were narrowed to the history of quartet gospel in Durham, womens preaching styles among local sanctified preachers, or local takes on Five Percent Nation rap lyrics, they stand a much better chance of working. Whatever your topic, your presentation must frame a scholarly argument. Focus on an issue rather than on collected facts; set forth an argument, defend it, and show why its important. Remember, our goal is to further understanding, and not just to repeat what weve read or heard.
To help with focus and analysis, we will each serve as an advisor to three groups, and will require that those groups meet with us outside of class at least twice in the course of the semester. The first such session should occur no later than the first week in March (March 15), and the second no later than the last (March 29April 2). You should look on these meetings as opportunities for testing your ideas and getting some guidance. Please come well-prepared to address your groups progress and plans.
The group projects will necessarily entail both library and field research. Though you should focus on materials gleaned from observation and conversation, you must also demonstrate familiarity with relevant written scholarship. If, for example, your project centered on stories about being called to preach, then we would expect you to know the literature on the call. Written resources will help broaden your perspective, suggesting new lines of inquiry and raising issues youve not yet considered. Though you should let your field consultants set the research agenda, you should nonetheless use library sources to help focus your investigation.
As these guidelines have hopefully suggested, the choice of topic is wide open. All we ask is that your project address issues of belief, experience, and practice in African American communities. You can focus on issues as diverse as theology; aesthetics (e.g., musical styles, preaching styles, styles of testimony); the politics of gender; the impact of Afrocentricity; the class-bound nature of belief; the recounted experience of transcendence; and the preached politics of liberation. In like manner, you can explore a range of belief systems, from those proclaiming themselves Christian or Islamic to those that have crafted themselves a place outside of the religious mainstream. The latter would include rootwork and conjuration, Santeria, African American spiritualism, the prophetic faiths of Daddy Grace and Father Divine, and the revived (and re-contexted) Yoruba faiths.
Our experience with group projects of this sort suggests that students often find themselves overwhelmed by the experience of fieldwork. Caught up in the excitement of sharing all that theyve encountered, they tend to build presentations around description rather than analysis. Though this may qualify them as reporters, it doesnt say much about their scholarship. To avoid this end, and to insure that each team critically explores a well-defined issue, were asking each group to accompany their presentation with a seven- to ten-page analytical paper. This essay should open with a clear statement of the groups thesis, and should then unfold the arguments that lead to a clearly defined conclusion. We expect this paper to cite both field consultants and relevant academic works. We also expect it to flow with a single voice, giving the impression of a single author rather than a series of writers. This means that group-members will have to write the essay well in advance of the presentation, and pass it around among themselves for conceptual and stylistic editing.
How you choose to divide responsibility for writing and presenting is entirely up to you. Our only requirement is that everyone contribute ideas to both parts of the project. And that everyone participate in the fieldwork. After all, you cant write about it unless youve been there.
(3) GROUP PROJECT ABSTRACT: Team projects are often plagued by the tendency to put off research until the last minute. Though this strategy might work for library projects, it wont work for field research. Community-based fieldwork involves spending lots of time with people outside your orbit of everyday activity. Over the course of the semester, these people will become your teachers. As their student and their guest, you are completely subject to their schedules and agendas. Which means that you cant expect them to jump when you say jump. Expect instead to spend a lot of time arranging and conducting interviews, and plan your schedule accordingly. To encourage a quick start on the team project, we would like each group to hand in a two-page typed abstract on February 4. The abstract should open with a succinct statement of the issue(s) you are investigating. It should then detail how you will develop your arguments, and present a tentative research plan (e.g., specifying whom you have already interviewed, whom you intend to interview, and what other sources you will consult).
(4) MID-TERM EXAMINATION: The mid-term, scheduled for February 25, allows you to choose from one of two options:
A) An in-class, closed-book essay exam. The questions will be taken from a longer list of essay questions that we will give you at least a week before the exam; or
B) A five-page analysis of a religious performance, artifact or document, whose topic is cleared with us in advance of the writing. This issue-oriented essay can focus on a performance (e.g., a song, sermon, prayer, or testimony), a material object (e.g., a visionary painting), a ceremony (e.g., a religious drama), or a written text (e.g., a poem, sermon, or diary). The purpose here is not simple description; rather, we expect an analytic essay, insightfully probing the chosen theme and relating it to class readings and discussions. The typed, double-spaced paperwith proper citation form and full bibliographywill be due in class on February 25, and will carry the same weight as the mid-term.
5) FINAL EXAMINATION: The final examination, like the mid-term, will consist of essay questions selected from a list that we will hand you at least a week before the exam. All students must take the final, which is scheduled for Thursday, May 6, at 12:00 noon.
Our goal in this course is to help you develop perspective and critical tools. Were not interested in filling your head with forgettable facts, and then asking you to give them back to us at test-time. Instead, we hope that the readings, in-class conversations, and conversations you conduct in the field will foster new understandings about belief and community, and will help you develop new ways of looking at culture and its many expressions. In other words, we hope to foster the kind of knowledge that invites creative application. Thats why weve put so much emphasis on writing and presentation. We want to see how you apply what youve learned.
This leads us to the issue of grading. Flexibility is the rule here. Your grade will be based on the assignments and on class participation. The latter is critical. If forced to break down your final grade into percentages, we would estimate that the abstract, group presentation, and group paper would contribute about 30%, the field exercise about 20%, the midterm exam/paper about 15%, the final exam about 20%, and attendance and class discussion about 15%. Notice all the abouts. These figures are guidelines, and not rules. Well try to base grades on evidence of individual learning, and not strictly on scores.
We should add a final note about grading the presentations. This is always a rather subjective decision, as so many variables come into play. To make the process a bit more democratic, were adding two components that draw you into the process.
First, each group will grade the contribution of its own members, with every individual confidentially assessing her/his peers. This lets us know, for example, if certain group-members ended up doing most of the work, or if some took the presentation as a chance to slide by while others labored. Well use these scoreswhen appropriateto fine tune the collective grade earned by the group. (Well explain this process in more detail later in the semester.)
Second, every class member will numerically grade each presentation, including their own. At the end of each day of presentations, everyone will hand us scores for the presenting groups. Well then take these scores into consideration when determining a final group grade.
Class discussions will revolve around two required texts, a host of readings, and a set of audio recordings. The texts are:
Raboteau, Albert J. Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Asante, Molefi Kefi. Afrocentricity. New revised ed. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 1988.
All other syllabus readings are contained in a packet on two-hour reserve at the Undergraduate Library. We strongly urge you to copy the entire packet at the beginning of the semester. Many of the local copy centers have automatic feeding copiers that make the copying process quite simple. To further simplify the process (and to prevent a run on the Reserve Desk), you might want to coordinate the copying with some of your classmates, so that you can run off multiple copies at the same time.
Many class sessions will include recordings of songs, sermons and other sacred performances. We treat these recordings as primary sources that hold as much validity as written texts; we expect you to do the same. As such, we have included listening assignments in the syllabus, and will expect you to listen toand be prepared to discussthe assigned selections prior to our class meetings. Copies of the listening tapes will be available at both the Undergraduate Librarys Non-Print desk, and at the Southern Folklife Collection/Manuscripts Department on the fourth floor of Wilson Library. As the semester unfolds, well present you with hand-outs identifying the recorded selections.
If you need assistance, guidance, or just some reassuring words, drop by during office hours to see us. If youre having trouble with any of the coursework, please come by and talk with us. Well be glad to discuss ideas and approaches with you. And if you find youre having difficulty with writing (on the tests, the exercise, or the group paper), we recommend that you contact the Writing Center here on campus. Their excellent staff is ready to help you shape your ideas into compelling prose.
Jan. 7 Realities Other Than our Own Re-thinking Belief and Religious Experience
Faith, Aesthetics and Worldview in West Africa
Jan. 12 African Faiths and
African Ways Experience and Expression
David Hufford, Traditions of Disbelief
Albert Raboteau, Slave Religion, pp. 416
Jan. 14 The Gods in Exile
Shaping a New African Faith
Walter Pitts, excerpt from Old Ship of Zion, pp. 5968
Raboteau, Slave Religion, pp. 4375
Jan. 19 Entering the Field
A Practicum in Ethnography
(1st meeting of groups)
Emergent Creole Faiths in North America
Jan. 21 Saving
and Enslaving Missions, Awakenings & Revivals
Raboteau, Slave Religion, pp. 128150
Jan. 26 Gods Hand
Is Moving Independent African American Churches
Prayer: Richard Allen, A Prayer for Hope
Richard Allen, Life Experience and Gospel Labors, pp. 13559
Jarena Lee, The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee, pp. 2748
Jan. 28 Like Fire in My
Bones The 2nd Great Awakening
Albert Raboteau, The Black Experience in American Evangelicalism: The Meaning of Slavery
Frederick Douglass, excerpts from My Bondage and My Freedom, pp. 12025, 15759
Feb. 2 Islamic Continuities
A Visit with Warith Dean Muhammad
** CLASS WILL MEET IN PHILLIPS 332 **
Ellen Barry, Owning Omar
Michael Gomez, Muslims in Early America
Feb. 4 Hush Harbors and
Upturned Pots The Emergence of the Invisible Institution
** GROUP ABSTRACT DUE **
Prayer: Anonymous, Again and One More Time
Testimony: Sister Kelly, Proud of that Ole Time Religion
Raboteau, Slave Religion, pp. 212243, 266275
Feb. 9 Worlds of Spirit
The Arena of Style
Listening assignment #1
Raboteau, Slave Religion, pp. 243266
Testimonies: Unnamed elder saints, I Am Blessed But You Are Damned, A Voice Like the Cooing of a Dove, A Voice Rang in my Soul, Preacher from a God-Fearing Plantation
Glenn Hinson, Sing Till the Power of the Lord Comes Down excerpt, from Fire in My Bones, pp. 16
Feb. 11 Praises Go Up, and
Blessings Come Down A Visit with the Branchettes
** FIELD EXERCISE DUE **
Feb. 16 Worlds of Spirit
Creoles and Conjuration
Raboteau, Slave Religion, pp. 7587, 27588
Frederick Douglass, excerpts from My Bondage and My Freedom, pp. 14453, 162
William Adams, Narrative
Feb. 18 Steal Away
Abolitionism, Colonization, and the Underground Railroad
Prayer: David Walker, A Prophets Plea to God
David Walker, excerpts from Walkers Appeal, in 4 Articles, pp. 1129, 4656
Feb. 23 Gods Avenging
Sword Holy Struggles for Liberation
Raboteau, Slave Religion, Chapter 6 & Conclusion
Nat Turner, The Confessions of Nat Turner
Gayraud Wilmore, Three Generals in the Lords Army, pp. 5373
Feb. 25 MIDTERM EXAMINATION (OR MIDTERM PAPER DUE)
Freedom and the New Contours of Faith
March 2 Slaverys Chain
Done Broke at Last Freedom and the New Contours of Faith
** 1ST GROUP MEETING WITH ADVISOR BEFORE OR DURING THIS WEEK **
Prayer: W. E. B. Du Bois, A Prayer for Endurance
Daniel Payne, excerpts from Recollections of Seventy Years, pp. 220226, 253257
W. E. B. Du Bois, excerpts from The Souls of Black Folk, pp. 4353, 210225, 264278
March 4 Got My Mojo Working
Continuities in Conjuration
Listening assignment #2
Zora Neale Hurston, excerpts from Mules and Men, pp. 192199, 221229
Jim Finn, Jim Finn on Calling Up the Devil
Selection of contemporary newspaper articles & advertisements
March 9 & 11 SPRING BREAK
Alternate Streams of Faith: Sanctified Folk and Rationalistic Believers
March 16 Shout All Over
Gods Heaven Holiness, Pentecostalism, and the Old-Time
Listening assignment #3
Scripture: Psalms 149 & 150, I Corinthians 12, Acts 2
Elsie W. Mason, Bishop C. H. Mason, Church of God in Christ
James Tinney, William J. Seymour: Father of Modern-Day Pentecostalism
March 18 Testifying to the
Power A Visit with Evangelist Evelyn Gilchrist
Catherine Peck, Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: Women in the Afro-American Preaching Tradition
March 23 Re-defining the
Race Gender, Institutions, and Religious Practice
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, excerpt from Righteous Discontent, pp. 88119
Ida B. Wells-Barnett, excerpts from Crusade for Justice, pp. 734, 4759, 225232, 321333
March 25 Re-defining the
Race Migration, City Life, and the New Negro
Prayer: Countee Cullen, Pagan Prayer
Milton Sernett, Bound for the Promised Land: African-American Religion and the Great Migration, chapter 3
March 30 God Gave Me a Song
The Emergence of Gospel
** 2ND GROUP MEETING WITH ADVISOR BEFORE OR DURING THIS WEEK **
Listening assignment #4
Song: Thomas Dorsey, Precious Lord
Mahalia Jackson, excerpt from Movin On Up, pp. 5666
Glenn Hinson, excerpt from The Anointing of God Breaks the Yokes, from Fire in My Bones, pp. 113
April 1 God Showed Me the
Way The New Prophetic Faiths
Randall Burkett, excerpt from Black Redemption, pp. 318 [Marcus Garvey]
April 6 Re-claiming the
Roots The Re-emergence of Islam
C. Eric Lincoln, excerpt from The Black Muslims in America, 3rd ed, pp. 4762
April 8 No class Preparation for the Class Presentations
April 13 Fulfilling Allahs
Prophecy The Nation of Islam and the Politics of Faith
Guest Panel from the Nation of Islam
Elijah Muhammad, excerpts from Message to the Blackman in America, pp. 6870, 7980, 5254, 16171, 8485.
Web Assignment: Visit and review NOI.ORGreadings to be announced.
April 15 No Segregation
in Heaven Struggling for Civil Rights
Listening Assignment #5
Recitation: Horace Williams, A Black Man Talks to God
Sermon: Rev. C.L. Franklin, What of the Night
Martin Luther King, Jr., The World House
April 20 CLASS PRESENTATIONS
April 22 CLASS PRESENTATIONS
April 27 Reclaiming Roots
Molefi Kefi Asante, Afrocentricity, pp. 130, 109120
April 29 A Long Days Journey Home Some Final Thoughts
May 6 FINAL EXAMINATION Thursday @ 12:00 Noon
Adams, William. [1938?] 1972. Narrative. In The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography, Vol. 4, Texas Narratives, Parts 1 & 2, ed. George P. Rawick, Part 1, pp. 48. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Company.
Allen, Richard.  1985. Life Experience and Gospel Labors. In Afro-American Religious History: A Documentary Witness, ed. Milton Sernett, pp. 13559. Durham: Duke University Press.
. [1787-1830] 1994. A Prayer for Hope. In Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, ed. James M. Washington, p. 10. New York: HarperCollins.
Anonymous.  1994. Again and One More Time. In Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, ed. James M. Washington, pp. 8384. New York: HarperCollins.
Barry, Ellen. 1998. Owning Omar. The Boston Phoenix, July 6.
Burkett, Randall. 1978. Black Redemption: Churchmen Speak for the Garvey Movement. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Cullen, Countee.  1994. Pagan Prayer. In Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, ed. James M. Washington, p. 136. New York: HarperCollins.
Dorsey, Thomas A.  1994. Precious Lord, Take My Hand. In Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, ed. James M. Washington, p. 154. New York: HarperCollins.
Douglass, Frederick.  1987. My Bondage and My Freedom. Ed. & with introduction by William L. Andrews. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Du Bois, W. E. B.  1994. A Prayer for Endurance. In Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, ed. James M. Washington, p. 106. New York: HarperCollins.
.  1969. The Souls of Black Folk. New York: New American Library.
Finn, Jim. 1968. Jim Finn on Calling Up the Devil. In American Negro Folklore, ed. J. Mason Brewer, pp. 28182. Chicago: Quadrangle Books.
Franklin, Rev. C. L. 1989. What of the Night? In Give Me This Mountain: Life History and Selected Sermons, pp. 16674. Ed. Jeff Todd Titon. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Gomez, Michael A. 1994. Muslims in Early America. Journal of Southern History 60: 671710.
Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks. 1993. Righteous Discontent: The Womens Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 18801920. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Hinson, Glenn. 1999. Fire in My Bones: Spirit and Experience in African American Gospel. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Hufford, David J. 1982. Traditions of Disbelief. New York Folklore 8 (3/4): 4755.
Hurston Zora Neale.  1978. Mules and Men. Introduction by Robert Hemenway. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Johnson, Charles S., ed. 1945. God Struck Me Dead: Religious Conversion Experiences and Autobiographies of Negro Ex-Slaves. Social Science Source Documents No. 2. Nashville: Social Science Institute, Fisk University.
Kelly, Sister.  1985. Proud of that Ole-Time Religion. In Afro-American Religious History: A Documentary Witness, ed. Milton Sernett, pp. 6970. Durham: Duke University Press.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1967. The World House. In Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community, pp. 16791. New York: Harper & Row.
Lee, Jarena. The Life and Religious Experience of Jarena Lee. In Sisters of the Spirit, ed. pp. 2748.
Lincoln, C. Eric. 1994. The Black Muslims in America. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich. & Trenton, N.J.: W. B. Eerdsmans & Africa World Press.
Mason, Elsie W. Bishop C. H. Mason, Church of God in Christ. In Afro-American Religious History: A Documentary Witness, ed. Milton Sernett, pp. 28595. Durham: Duke University Press..
Muhammad, Elijah. 1992 . Message to the Blackman of America. Newport News, Va.: United Brothers Communications Systems.
Payne, Bishop Daniel A. 1888. Recollections of Seventy Years. Nashville: Publishing House of the A.M.E. Sunday School Union.
Peck, Catherine L. 1988. Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: Women in the Afro-American Preaching Tradition. In Diversities of Gifts: Field Studies in Southern Religion, ed. Ruel W. Tyson, Jr., James L. Peacock, & Daniel W. Patterson, pp. 143156. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Pitts, Walter F. 1993. Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora. New York: Oxford University Press.
Raboteau, Albert J. 1997. The Black Experience in American Evangelicalism: The Meaning of Slavery. In African-American Religion: Interpretive Essays in History and Culture, ed. Timothy Fulop and Albert J. Raboteau, pp. 89106. New York: Routledge.
. 1978. Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sernett, Milton. 1997. Bound for the Promised Land: African-American Religion and the Great Migration. Durham: Duke University Press.
Tinney, James. 1978. William J. Seymour: Father of Modern-Day Pentecostalism. In Black Apostles: Afro-American Clergy Confront the Twentieth Century, ed. Randall K. Burkett & Richard Newman, pp. 21325. Boston: G. K. Hall.
Turner, Nat.  1985. The Confessions of Nat Turner. In Afro-American Religious History: A Documentary Witness, ed. Milton Sernett, pp. 8899. Durham: Duke University Press.
Walker, David.  1994. A Prophets Plea to God. In Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African Americans, ed. James M. Washington, p. 25. New York: HarperCollins.
.  1969. Walkers Appeal, in 4 Articles. New York: Arno Press.
Wells-Barnett, Ida B. 1970. Crusade For Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Williams, Horace. 1985. A Black Man Talks to God. Recorded by Glenn Hinson in Durham, N.C., April 4.
Wilmore, Gayraud S. 1983. Black Religion and Black Radicalism: An Interpretation of the Religious History of Afro-American People. 2nd ed. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books.