November 29, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Ford Foundation has approved a grant of $360,000 to a group of scholars, headquartered at Amherst College, working on a documentary history of African-American religion.

The general editors of African-American Religion: A Documentary History Project, are David W. Wills, the Winthrop H. Smith ’16 Professor of American History and American Studies (Religion and Black Studies) at Amherst, and Albert J. Raboteau, the Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion at Princeton University.

Wills and Raboteau founded the project in 1987. The forthcoming work, a comprehensive view of African-American religion from the earliest 15th-century African-European encounters along the African coast to the present in the United States, will be presented in a three-part, multi-volume series that will include documents and commentary. The University of Chicago Press plans to publish the first volumes of the work, provisionally titled African-American History: A Historical Interpretation with Representative Documents, in 2002.

The project Website at contains working drafts of some the interpretive essays, sample documents and other helpful resources for anyone interested in a serious study of African-American religion.