African American spirituality was forged in the fiery furnace of slavery, segregation, and ongoing racial discrimination in both church and society. But African Americans are a people who are strengthened rather than weakened by their experience. This volume traces how African Americans have articulated their faith and love of God in language, song, and daily living. Beginning with its spiritual roots in Africa, Hayes shows how African American spirituality encompassed and incorporated the experience of slavery and the encounter with Christianity. Remarkably, African American slaves were able to find in the religion of their oppressors a message of hope, affirmation, and resistance. Through stories, song, distinctive forms of prayer, celebration, and prophetic witness, Hayes shows how the spirituality of African Americans has nurtured their survival as well as promoting action on behalf of the community and the greater society.