Drawing on the biblical figure of Hagar—mother of Ishmael, cast into the desert by Abraham and Sarah, but protected by God—Delores Williams finds a prototype for the struggle of African-American women. Through Hagar’s story of poverty and slavery, ethnicity and sexual exploitation, exile and encounter with God, she traces parallels in the history of African-American women from slavery to the present day. What emerges from this shared interplay of race, sex, and class, is a new “womanist” theology that promotes survival and wholeness as well as liberation.
Delores S Williams, Author
Delores S Williams is a retired Professor of Theology and Culture at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.