A few weeks back I noticed in the Twitter feed for the New Black Chick some discussion on atheism and Black women. Atheism, religion in general, is always a touchy topic. I wanted to understand more about the discussion and popped onto a few threads and started doing some research online. I came to the realization that many Black women are making their way out of the church. Some are opting for non-belief, others are agnostic, while some are spiritual without ties to religion.
One of the tweets mentioned the book, The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking Out on Religionand Others Should Too by Candace R.M. Gorham, so I decided to take a look. I thought the book provided a balanced view of why Black women are leaving the church. It neither torn down religion or built up atheism. Though the title of the book includes saying “others should” walk out on religion, I didn’t feel the book overtly said it’s a must. The primary call to action is for people to question religion and the role it plays in our lives. And frankly, isn’t that something that’s true of all things in our lives. We should question doctors, we should question teachers, but when it comes to questioning the church it’s a different story so to speak.
Black women are the most religious group in the United States yet have the worst health and the least amount of wealth. This is surprising and contrary to the general message of the church that believers will have an abundance. The author also points out that Black churches can’t accept the praise of doing well without taking some of the blame for the not-so-well. I am fascinated by this topic. The women interviewed in the book all had varying stories of how they reached the decision about their religious commitment or non-commitment as the case may be.
I reached out to a good friend Reverend Ravyn Miller to get her perspective on the modern day Black church and where she sees it going. Not only does Ravyn minister to the youth in her church she is also a healthcare professional working at the same company as me. She is uniquely qualified to give a perspective on this discussion of Black women leaving the church and I’m sure you’ll agree she is very dynamic in her beliefs and approach.
Here is a two-part interview with Ravyn Miller. Please share, like and comment below. We want to hear from you!
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Rev. Ravyn Miller Interview part 1
Rev. Ravyn Miller Interview part 2