How do young African Americans approach their faith in God when continued violence and police brutality batters the news each day? In The Spiritual Lives of Young African Americans, Almeda M. Wright argues that African American youth separate their everyday lives and their spirituality into mutually exclusive categories. This results in a noticeable division between their experiences of systemic injustices and their religious beliefs and practices. Yet Wright suggests that youth can and do teach the church and society myriad lessons through their theological reflections and actions. Giving special attention to the resources of African American religious and theological traditions, Wright creates a critical pedagogy for integrating spirituality into the lives of African American youth, as well as confronting and navigating spiritual fragmentation and systemic injustice.
is Assistant Professor of Religious Education at Yale Divinity School. Her research focuses on African American religion, adolescent spiritual development, and the interesections of religion and public life. She is also the editor of Children, Youth, and Spirituality in a Troubling World, with Mary Elizabeth Moore.