With the recent scandals that have been exposed from predominantly African American churches within the past 1-2 years, “good” pastors are having a difficult time proving that church is still a safe haven for those who seek refuge from their tribulations and want to better their lives. Author Deborrah Cooper’s The Black Church: Where Women Pray and Men Prey, just made their argument even more challenging. The book sheds light on how the black church is guilty for keeping black women single. In light of the topic, former prostitutes at We’ve Been There Done That, a non-profit organization in Houston, TX, that reforms ex-prostitutes and drug addicts, gave their perspective on the book- drawing from their own personal experiences with preachers and deacons at the church.
The founder of the organization, Kathyrn Griffin, said preachers and deacons were some of their “best” clients. A member of her organization, Rebecca, agreed with Kathryn stating, “There’s been a few clients that I’ve had in there (the church). They weren’t priests but they were organized in the church as brothers. Those were some of the best clients I had.” Another member named Alicia said one of her “regulars” was very active in the church. “He’d give me money. He’d give me dope. He’d give me anything that I wanted. I stayed at his house before. He has a room at his house where girls come over and get high,” she said. All of the women said they can relate to author Deborah Cooper’s perspective of the church.
Many critics argue that rigid beliefs constructed in the black church are keeping black women from finding their husband. I believe that’s a good argument because the churches I’ve frequented are typically filled with women- most who are single, never been married, and are mothers. It seems to me that preachers conveniently tip-toe around the conversation of premarital sex and out-of-wedlock childbirths, while focusing on telling women why they shouldn’t put up with their “sorry” man.
Do you think the black church is keeping black women single?