James Melvin Washington, Ph.D., was a professor, historian, and minister. He is the author of Frustrated Fellowship: The Black Baptist Quest for Social Power, and the editor of A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and I Have a Dream: Writing and Speeches That Changed the World. Conversations with God won the Honor Award in Nonfiction from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

In this powerful anthology, Washington chronicles the prayers of African Americans that reflect the central crisis of six periods: 1760-1860, 1861-1893, 1894-1919, 1920-1955, 1956-1980, and 1981-1994. Washington presents these prayers as both “personal conversations” with God and “major moods in the complex spiritual history of a people who have obvious reasons to be angry with God.”

Washington likens prayer to “conversation with God” and “an attempt to count the stars of our souls.” The prayers in this book will stir your soul; they are a moving testament to the power of hope and faith in God and to the strength of the spirit of its contributors.