The Lament of a Black Neo-Reformed Woman
I sat across from a beautiful black female with a modern-day afro. She and I were having lunch and she was eager to speak with me about her personal experience as an African American female in a predominantly white church. She shared that the words I had written in a recent blog post on the topic were the exact thoughts about which she had been journaling. She commended my bravery and admitted she didn't quite know how to articulate her pinned-up emotions until seeing it through the pen of another. Tears running down her face, she continued talking and pouring out her heart's desire for a husband, something that seems elusive to her as she contemplates the rare chance of a fellow congregate of the opposite sex—and race—taking an interest in her. I reminded her of the good news of the gospel; that God delights in and loves her. At that moment I realized she and many others silently struggle and grapple with various unyielding questions and desires, making the topic of the black female experience in predominantly white reformed churches truly important.
But, where are the resources?
I am a firm believer that God has given us all we need for growth and godliness in His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17); yet, books and publications are a gift from God. As I peruse the available resources for me, a black female reformed Christian, I find there are none written by reformed Christians that speak directly to my experience. There are plenty of resources for women, plenty about theology, and even a few wonderful books about the historical nature of the church and the African American experience, such as Anthony J. Carter's On Being Black and Reformed. There is, however, an apparent lack of awareness that the black reformed female experience is indeed different from merely the male experience. It was God's idea to create male and female and it was God's idea to create the black female. The unique and specific needs of the black female have been unintentionally overlooked. It is clear to me, more than ever, that these needs are important and should be addressed.
Where do we go from here?
The conversation has begun and it would be a shame and a disservice to allow these issues to once again be buried. Here are topics that I'd like to explore further:
1. What does biblical femininity look like for the black female? And if it's the same, which it will be, how then do we address it knowing that the black female experience in America has historically been different than the white female experience in America?
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