Race and Prayer

Collected Voices, Many Dreams

Malcolm Boyd, Chester L. Talton

Feb/2003, 216 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819219091

$30.95

$30.95

The damage done by hatred and prejudice -- based on race, sexual orientation, religion, or gender -- runs very deep. The damage is often invisible, but it simmers beneath the surface anyway. In Race and Prayer, Malcolm Boyd and Chester Talton have collected poems, prayers, and prose that bring the anger and frustration to light, and ultimately, they hope, to a place of reconciliation and healing.

Race and Prayer is divided into five sections: Suffering and Anger; Prejudice and Hatred; Diversity; Reconciliation and Healing; and Growth in Understanding and Sharing. Contributors to this collection range in age from teenagers to the elderly, and include men and women from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds, all of whom speak honestly of their own experiences, heartbreaks, and hopes. Twelve cartoons from three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Conrad, editorial cartoonist at the Los Angeles Times, add to the power of this collection.

Malcolm Boyd was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1955. Soon afterward he became a freedom rider in the civil rights movement, serving as a college chaplain in two interracial parishes. He was Poet/Writer-in-Residence at the Cathedral Center of Saint Paul in Los Angeles, where he also served as chaplain of the AIDS Commission. He is the author of twenty-six books, including Running with Jesus: The Prayers of Malcolm Boyd and Simple Grace: A Mentors Guide to Growing Older. He died in 2015.


Chester L. Talton, born in Arkansas, grew up and attended school in California. Following his ordination in the Episcopal Church in 1971, he served parishes in Chicago, Minnesota, and New York. He is the first African-American Episcopal bishop in the western United States, and is currently Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

"Race and Prayer is an extraordinary compilation of petitions from the heart in varied forms and represents the rich diversity of its contributors, many of whom I know as activists for peace with justice. These are passionate prayers that scores of readers can adopt and adapt as their own. It was an honor and privilege to respond to editors Boyd and Talton's invitation to make a small contribution to this compelling volume, which is a gift to the whole people of God."--The Rt. Reverend Barbara C. Harris

"These compelling reflections, deeply personal and undefended, provide us with intimate insights concerning the reality of racism so pervasive and death-dealing to our common life. The myriad of voices of Race and Prayer speak of our prejudice, our hurts and ultimately offer a strong word of hope for healing."--The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church, USA

" This is a powerful and uncompromising testament of justice, moral courage and hope that is rooted in reality. I recommend it strongly as a groundbreaking book of significance."--Dr. Richard A. English, Dean, School of Social Work, Howard University

"Courageously confronting the great wound of racism, it is a work of profound faith and-ultimately-of hope."--The Rev. Margaret B. Guenther

"I have been deeply moved by the truly poignant prayers in this impressive anthology. It should galvanize people of faith to fight even more relentlessly against the scourge of racism that has so disfigured the Body of Christ and threatened to tear it apart." --Archbishop Desmond Tutu

"When we truly pray we place ourselves on the trajectory of grace and freedom. God knows what might happen. Justice, inclusion, love become not only possibilities but imperatives. These prayers give voice to the urgency of God's call to us."--The Very Rev. Alan Jones, author of Living the Truth and Seasons of Grace

"I have not come across a work more revealing through its inherent practice of prayer of how Christian spirituality and race are intelligible together. The reader is invited to eat slowly so as to experience the diversity of God's presence for a long time."--Michael Battle, Ph.D., Duke University

"Race and Prayer is a much needed offering, rooted in the conviction that authentic prayer has the power to change persons and change society ... This diverse collection offers challenging reflections that are filled with hope, inviting contemplation and encouraging action, while avoiding ideological dogmatism ... Every church, pastor, and layperson should have a copy of this book-dog-eared from use!"--Hannah Loring-Davis, The Other Side

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