No Crystal Stair
By: Diana L. Hayes
CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION BOOK AWARD WINNER! – GENDER
"Even those who have never before heard the term womanist can gain much from Hayes' description of how people's theology stems from their own personal history. Black women have struggled, says Hayes, but out of this struggle is birthed a spirituality that focuses on community, creativity, and the pervasive sense of a God who acts within history for the good of all." --Emily Sanna, in US Catholic
"In essays and prayers, Diana L. Hayes opens readers to the 'creative spark' of womanist spirituality. She provides a fruitful overview of the history of womanism as it mirrors her own spiritual journey and intimacy with God. Her most profound spiritual moments -- conversion to Catholicism, chronic illness, death of her mother -- help anyone looking to deepen their understanding of womanism, intersectionality, and inclusion." --Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER)
"In each of the ten chapters of this work, Hayes exposes the profound wealth of her spiritual life conversion, growth, and breakthrough as a womanist theologian. She provides a spiritual treasure trove that draws from the five hundred-year legacy of African American women's experience. This book is required reading for anyone who is serious about their spiritual growth and development. It should be in every parish, high school, college, university, and seminary library." --Dawn M. Nothwehr, OSF, in Catholic Library World
In this collection of essays, prayers, and meditations, Diana Hayes lays the foundation for womanist spirituality in the lived faith and struggles of African American women. This spirituality, as she observes, “flows from their lived encounters with God, nurtured and sustained with sweat, tears, and blood as they worked the fields, worked in the homes of white families, worked in factories and wherever else they could to support their families and build their communities.…It is a spirituality which arises from a deep and abiding faith in a God of love, a wonder-working God who walked and talked with them, giving them the strength to persevere.”
Beginning with the story of her own spiritual journey—her upbringing in the AME Zion Church where she encountered “a God who loved me into life,” her training as a lawyer, conversion to Catholicism, and determination to become a theologian—Hayes offers a moving, inspiring, and challenging window on the lived faith of African American women today.
Diana L. Hayes is professor emerita of systematic theology at Georgetown University. She is the author of several books including Were You There? Stations of the Cross and Forged in the Fiery Furnace: African American Spirituality.