Prathia Hall had a sharp eye and ear for the causes that affect social justice, and she described her origins in "freedom faith" as follows: "Well it sounds presumptuous to say you were born with a mission, but I have always had a deep passion for justice. I was raised by my parents in what I believe to be the central dynamic in the African-American religious tradition. That is, an integration of the religious and the political. It is a belief that God intends us to be free, and assists us, and empowers us in the struggle for freedom. So the stories of our history helped me to understand that we were called to be activists in this struggle for justice. "
Prathia Hall helped Charles Sherrod to pilot SNCC's 22-county SW Georgia Project. Prathia was one of three voter registration workers wounded by night riders' shots in Dawson, GA in the summer of 1962. Charles Sherrod remembers: "Out of the night that covered us, pitch black, there were two blasts. Jack Chatfield (now an Associate Professor of History at Trinity College/Hartford) crouched, gliding into where I was. Suddenly, he snaps around, explaining quite suprisedly but not too excited - 'I'm hit.' Prathia Hall and Christopher Allen were grazed, one on the finger, the other on the arm. We were all on the floor. We were working together on Voter Registration. We had been shot at. Some were hit. There was blood. We were afraid. Where was the Federal Government? We crawled about on that floor as if we were in Korea on Pork Chop Hill."
The 600 marchers meant to call attention to their struggle for suffrage by marching from Selma to Montgomery. But state troopers at the Edmund Petttus Bridge blocked their way. Then they attacked. Television cameras recorded the event; public outrage over it led to passage of the Civil Rights Act. But that day, Prathia Hall's faith in the strategy of nonviolent confrontation was shaken. In retrospect, Hall said that a nonviolent movement "has to make space for the expression of authentic anger, even rage…we might have had even greater power if we had somehow found a way to allow space for the expression of righteous anger."
Through four or five years, Hall struggled through a crisis of faith before deciding to go to Princeton Theological Seminary to take up her father's profession. She became one of the first women ordained in the American Baptists' Association. She suffered through tremendous personal tragedy her daughter died at 23, after suffering a stroke; and she herself battled continued health problems stemming from a car accident.
Prathia Hall answered the challenge to her faith by digging deeper. She worked tirelessly through ministry to make a difference. She served on the steering committee of the American Baptist Conference (the Northern Baptists' conference) on the Partnership of Women and Men in the Community of Faith and served as chair of the Program Committee of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. She became known as a womanist theologian. Hall held the Martin Luther King Jr. Chair in Social Ethics at Boston University. Rev. Prathia Hall died August 12, 2002.