Black Women and Lent

I suppose you could call me a bad Catholic, I was not in church on Wednesday and I did not post about sacrifice andblack_madonna-01 honor either. When I was an undergrad, I attended a largely secular small college in which my social group would have like publicly shunned and privately rejected the best parts of me if I’d walked around with ash on my head, and I don’t doubt a few campus dwellers would have licked my head in unabashed irreverence rocking the pieces of me I cannot articulate in ways that would still be shaken today. So I fell out of practice but hopefully not out of G-d’s hands, not completely. And as I read others reflections on the day, I feel this slow ache for the faith of a mustard seed. Perhaps, unlike most of my readers here, it is b/c I know what it is like to walk in faith, not that judgmental-colonializing-inquisition-torturing-self-flagellation-slavery-justifying-gay-bashing-child-molesting-neo-colonial-send-your-check-1966churchsociety1in-now religiousity that is masquerading as faith, but the real thing, the loving-stewardship-parts-in-one-body-community-liberation-solidarity-social-justice-simple-way kind of real thing, and what it is like to walk without it.

So forgive me for getting all G-d glorious on you folks this last day of Black Herstory Month, but whether you believe in a Christian G-d or not, I want to encourage you to go read the post about Womanism and Lent by Melissa Harris Lacewell over at Kitchen Table Blog and think about how you can create, sustain, and believe in a world that honors black women and refutes the layers of violence against them.

Here’s a quote from the post to motivate you:

These women refused to uncritically embrace the notion of sacrifice. Instead they forced us to ask what would happen if we imagine that God and our communities are deeply, unalterably invested in the existence, survival, and thriving of black women.  Would a God, a church, a home, or a community that was committed to our survival, our joy, and our redemption be so willing to use and abuse our bodies, our talents, our hearts, and our gifts while offering so little in return?

– Melissa Harris Lacewell

Still here? get.

(Later today, the final quilt post; I hope.)



  • The Black Madonna. Skaggs. co 2004
  • 1966 WCC Church and Society Conference

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