What if the most steadfast faith you'll ever encounter comes from a Black grandmother?
The church mothers who raised Yolanda Pierce, dean of Howard University School of Divinity, were busily focused on her survival. In a world hostile to Black women's bodies and spirits, they had to be. Born on a former cotton plantation and having fled the terrors of the South, Pierce's grandmother raised her in the faith inherited from those who were enslaved. Now, in the pages of In My Grandmother's House, Pierce reckons with that tradition, building an everyday womanist theology rooted in liberating scriptures, experiences in the Black church, and truths from Black women's lives. Pierce tells stories that center the experiences of those living on the underside of history, teasing out the tensions of race, spirituality, trauma, freedom, resistance, and memory.
A grandmother's theology carries wisdom strong enough for future generations. The Divine has been showing up at the kitchen tables of Black women for a long time. It's time to get to know that God.
An excerpt from the Preface:
This book is my attempt to retrieve the religious legacy I have inherited and keep it alive for those who are still to come… In a world eager to promote the newest wunderkind, grandmother theology carries us two or more generations back: to the kitchens, hair salons, gardens, and church basements of older Black women who are often invisible in theological discourse but without whom the American Christian church would cease to exist.
Yolanda Pierce is professor and dean of Howard University School of Divinity. She is a scholar of African American religious history, womanist theology, race, and religion, as well as a public theologian, activist, and commentator. An alumna of Princeton University and Cornell University, Pierce served as the founding director of the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the National Museum of African American History & Culture. Pierce's writing has appeared in Time, Sojourners, and The Christian Century, and she is the author of the book Hell Without Fires. Pierce lives in Washington, D.C.