Thanks for stopping by The Churched Feminist!
I suppose you may be wondering what a highly charged term like “feminist” has to do with “being churched.” While I was studying for my Master of Divinity, one of my professors put this question to the class: “is the Black church good for the Black woman’s health?” I’ve turned that question over and over again in my mind as I have sat in both the pews and the pulpits of many churches, wondering why the largest group in the Black church, Black women, is often slighted when it comes to ministries that address our needs. Many church ministries for women are pretty much regulated to three areas: ministry for child and youth, ministry for married couples, and ministry for seniors. Yes, there are churches with singles’ ministries and Women’s Fellowships, but they tend to deal more with an idealized single life more than they speak to the actual life you are living. As Black women, we struggle with the weight of being both black and female, the struggles of the political economics as the group who is paid less than our White male, White female, and Black male counterparts, we endure the endless commentary on women who look like us (like the unyielding scrutiny on Serena Williams’ physique) women who want to be like us (Rachel Dolezar, insert your favorite cultural appropriator here), and the endless assault on Blackness in general (Rekia Boyd, Renisha McBride, Sandra Bland, #SayHerName). The endless images of Black women who have died in police custody make me hold my breath every time I see or hear a police car. So it is my hope that this website will be a place of spiritual uplift with Black women in mind. If anyone could use some inspiration and pastoral care, it is those of us who carry the stress of multiple oppressions hitting us all at once. And it is time we give ourselves permission to take the ‘S’ off our chests and recharge. Sometimes we laugh to keep from crying:
And sometimes we need to hear the truth, served with the sharpness of a samurai sword, cutting us to the core with the realities of Black womanhood, as poets Crystal Valentine and Aaliyah Jihad declare so powerfully in “To Be Black and Woman and Alive:”
Bottom line: Black women go through. And the one place Black women gather on the regular has not always been swift enough in developing ministries to address our particular needs. In far too many cases, it has added to them. The Churched Feminist was created to be a space where we can take off the hostility to Black womanhood and affirm it through readings of the Bible that empower us.
The Churched Feminist is a virtual space where the expression of God as a Black woman is appreciated, applauded, and affirmed. Welcome!