James Washington (1948-1997) received his B.A. from the University of Tennessee, Master of Theological Studies from Harvard
Divinity School and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University (1979). The title of his dissertation isThe Origins and Emergence of Black Baptist Separatism, 1863-1897. An ordained Baptist minister, he served as Associate Professor of History at Union Theological Seminary, New York. He is
the author of Frustrated fellowship: the Black Baptist quest for social power (1986), A testament of hope: the essential writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1986), I have a dream: writings and speeches that changed the world / Martin Luther King, Jr. (1992), Conversations with God: two centuries of prayers by African Americans (1994). His colleagues honored him with a Festschrift edited by Quinton Hosford Dixie and Cornell West, The courage to hope: from black suffering to human redemption: essays in honor of James Melvin Washington (1999). As part of his effort to document and interpret the role of African Americans in the contexts of American culture,
Washington amassed an extensive library. This collection came to Fuller Theological Seminary in 2003. It contains about 4,000
items, catalogued as the James Washington Special Collection.