Today I would like to discuss something close to my heart. The Black woman’s body. I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a bit as I am a woman of colour.
With the rise of the Alt Right in the States and the racist Evangelical “Christians” who voted in President Trump, them and their “white Jesus”, its got me thinking about how little Western society and the church values the body of the woman of colour.
The West’s Historical Relationship With The Black Woman’s Body
Historically, in slavery times, the Black woman was not treated like a woman at all, she was put in chains and forced to do men’s work, like lay tar on roads because the Black woman was not seen to be as delicate as the White woman. What slavery did was masculinized the Black woman and emasculated the Black man. Moreover, the Black woman instead of being a beautiful, sexual being, was seen as dirty, eroticized and often forced into sexual relationships, whether it be for the White slave owners own nasty sexual fantasies, for pimping out their African enslaved women to other White men, forcing them to have babies with other slaves or forcing them to have babies with slave owners to produce more slaves. As their babies were seen as the property of the slave owners the children were promptly sold off when they were weaned. PBS did an article which provides a starting overview to this (follow this link for more info). So what the slave trade did was to create and reinforce the idea that the Black woman’s body is there merely for the White man’s “use” and the Black man was unable to do or say anything about it. Black marriages weren’t even legal during slave times, they did get married but they weren’t recognized or respected and the husbands were sold without a second thought of their wives and children. It also wasn’t legal for the enslaved women to tell their children who their father was, partly because sometimes their father was the slave owner through coerced means, trying to make more slaves or just because he wanted the slave woman. Sometimes their father was another slave that was used as a stud to produce more slaves.
These things on top of the sexual abuse and misuse of the Black woman’s body by the White man, created the idea of the Black woman’s body as always someone’s “baby mama” and never someone’s wife, as she wasn’t allowed that status and as the Black man was so emasculated and their marriages weren’t recognized and it was illegal for the Black woman to tell her children who their father was, this meant that the Black people as a whole were kept in a perpetually barstardised state. You can then understand why the uptake of Christianity was so high among both Male and Female enslaved people’s because of the promise of God the Father being the only all loving, all caring, all knowing, omnibenevolent father figure they had, who happily sacrificed part of Himself (Jesus) for them John 3:16, instead of them always having to fight for themselves. You can also understand where the mentality of the Black woman always having some baby from some man and who knows who the father is type of thing comes from because that literally is the circumstance that was forced upon the Black woman’s body. It happened.
The “church”, which was supposed to be the bastion of White morality, the moral compass and the literal heart of WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) culture went along with it see this article here, it provides an overview (follow this link for more into). Can you imagine that?
Let me tell you what happened in my family history, my great great great great great maybe another great grandfather was actually a slave owner. He had a child with my great great great great great maybe another great grandmother. The child was fair and as a consequence allowed to live in the house and be free. In those times, the fairer you were the better. When she grew up, as she was fair, she married a Scottish man (a White man), their children were obviously free, they must have been fair and eventually a few centuries and more mixed marriages later, I was born. People often ask me which one of my parents is White lol. I often can’t be bothered to go into why and just say I have European ancestors.
Jesus would have been dark skinned
Now for all you racist “Christians” I would just like to say to all of those who are confused, Jesus was not White, He was a Jew! He WOULD NOT have been blonde, He would have had brown hair, brown eyes and brown skin, you know why? Jews from the Bible were mixed with the following groups of people:
- North Africans partly from their time in Egypt, some Egyptians went with them Exodus 12:38;
- Peoples we would have understood today as Arabs;
- and Ethiopians and the Cushites who were also part Ethiopian, part Eastern African (follow this link for more info) (so the Kenyans etc.) and part Southern Egyptian, they were the descedents of Cush, son of Ham, Noah’s youngest son.
- I’m probably fairer than they were lol.
Modern Jews today look more European due to increased social mobility and the various World Wars and persecution which forced them into Eastern Europe (Ashkenazi (follow this link for more info) Jews) and the Mediterranean (Sephardic (follow this link for more info) Jews). That’s why now you get some Jewish people who are blonde etc.
What does the Bible say about Black Women?
Moses married a Cushite woman and his sister Miriam was racist and didn’t like it. So God decided that if she liked white skin so much He would make her white by giving her Leprosy, to teach her not to be so judgemental again.
Numbers 12:1-15 [NLT]
“ While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman (authors own note: Cushite = a black woman).  They said, “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the LORD heard them.  (Now Moses was very humble-more humble than any other person on earth.)  So immediately the LORD called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle, all three of you!” So the three of them went to the Tabernacle.  Then the LORD descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward.  And the LORD said to them, “Now listen to what I say: “If there were prophets among you, I, the LORD, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams.  But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust.  I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?”  The LORD was very angry with them, and he departed.  As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened to her,  he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed.  Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.”  So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, I beg you, please heal her!”  But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn’t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.”  So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again.”
Basically, God said there if He God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords accepts Moses with his BLACK WIFE to the extent that He God speaks to him face to face, in a way that God didn’t do with anyone else in that day, who are you to be discriminating and complaining? If there was something wrong with marrying a Black woman God wouldn’t have been so close with Moses, if it’s good enough for God it’s good enough for you!
The church is also presented as a Black woman, in Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon) the love interest bucks the social trend in the West of beauty being primarily White by presenting the love interest as a Black woman. I wrote a song about Song of Songs
As we know, the imagery of the young woman and her lover seen in Song of Songs represents a young woman and King Soloman, as well as Wives and Husbands, as well as The Church which is always represented as a woman and Jesus Christ.
Song of Solomon 1:5-6 [NLT]
“ I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem- dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.  Don’t stare at me because I am dark- the sun has darkened my skin. My brothers were angry with me; they forced me to care for their vineyards, so I couldn’t care for myself-my own vineyard.”
Poor thing was forced to work out in the sun the same way White slavers used to make Black women work in the sun. Looks like she was already dark and then got a tan which made her darker – yes Black people tan – see below
Me before I went to Barbados
Me when I came back!
In Song of Songs, the lover who is the man also representative of King Solomon and Jesus is also represented by a Black man or at least someone who is dark look:
Song of Solomon 5:10-11 [NLT]
“ My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!  His head is finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven.”
The Bible represents Black people as beautiful, it’s just been brushed over in some “Whitespiracy”. Yes, there are verses which talk about slaves must obey their masters. I admit that they are there and it will take another blog post to write an apologetic for that. However, those people who used the Bible to justify slavery and the way the Black woman’s body was treated never read:
Colossians 3:11-12 [NLT] “ In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.  Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
Galatians 3:28 [NLT] “ There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 23:8-12 [NLT] “ “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.  And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father.  And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.  The greatest among you must be a servant.  But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 6:40 [NLT] “ Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.”
1 Peter 3:7 [NLT] “ In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”
Clearly White supremacy, racism and chauvinism of any kind is not a Biblical world-view and must be exorcised from Anglo-American/European Christianity.
My personal experience: how the “church” has treated my Black female body
I personally have experienced discrimination at the hands of White “Christian” guys who were COWARDS, too scared to marry me because their mother didn’t appreciate that I wasn’t Caucasian and so our children would be half Black.
I’ve also had scenarios where White “Christian” guys were COWARDS again, they were too afraid of their White friends laughing at them, saying not nice things about me to the guy who was interested in me behind my back because he was interested in a black girl. Saying that I was ugly, just because I was black, in an attempt to try and put him off. Newsflash IDIOT they were jealous…. and racist and annoyed at themselves because they were jealous and couldn’t find any reasonable reason to try to get him to not date me.
I’ve met some really nice White guys. I’m constantly bumping into White guys who are a fan of women of colour. It’s not actually hard to find them, they tend to seek you out if they are that way inclined anyway, also I live in England, I think African/Caribbean people are only 5% of the population here. They aren’t all bad, I’m just giving examples that need shaming although I shan’t do any naming. It’s nothing as bad as America here. Many of my friends are in mixed ethnicity relationships, many of them are happily married with children, cute little children at that!
The fastest growing ethnicity in England and Wales is actually the Mixed Race ethnicity, the BBC did a whole thing on it (follow this link for more info). I myself am mixed, as I said at the beginning, also my grandfather on one side was half African-Caribbean, half Caucasian. On another side I have a great grandfather that was French. So I’m part African, Caribbean, French, Scottish and Anglo-Saxon of some description.
Who misses out when we don’t respect the Black woman’s body?
Now I’ve been thinking, who looses in this battle between the White Alpha-Male and the oppressed Black woman? To answer this question lets look at the facts, lets combine Science and Theology:
- Homo Sapien’s reproduce through sexual reproduction – remember GCSE reproduction? GCSE’s are the exams you do at 16 in the UK for those of you reading this who are not British http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/science/organisms_behaviour_health/reproduction/revision/2/
- It is impossible for humans to reproduce without a female, even if its IVF it still requires a component from a female – see the above link
- Humans evolved from Apes, we share a common ancestry with the modern African Ape – http://humanorigins.si.edu/education/introduction-human-evolution
- The first humans lived in Africa – see the above link
Christian Theology/The Bible says:
- Humans reproduce through sexual reproduction
- Genesis 3:16,20 [NLT] “ Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you. “… “ Then the man-Adam-named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.”;
- Genesis 4:1 [NLT] “Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the LORD’s help, I have produced a man!”
- It is impossible for humans to reproduce without a female –
- 1 Corinthians 11:12 [NLT] “For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God.”
- Humans were created –
- Genesis 1:26-28 [NLT] “ Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”  So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
- The first humans were situated in a garden, Eden which was around what we consider in contemporary times to be around Africa-ish (don’t quote me on this at all lol), (yes I know the world used to be one land mass Pangea then plate tectonics etc now we have continents the point is that the Bible situates/associates Eden in/around an area known to have Black people).
- We know this because Genesis 2:10-11,13 says that “ A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. …  The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush.” As we know Cush is considered by Biblical scholars to be Ethiopia so this could have been an ancient Ethiopia perhaps?
The science does back up the Biblical account of humanity, apart from Evolution, however, look if the evidence is that humanity developed mainly in Africa then it’s only common sense to assume then that the ONLY place the Garden of Eden could have been was Africa if the first people, who we know were African’s, lived and developed in Africa then that’s where the Garden of Eden was. If they find a few more bones that are older, somewhere else, I’ll repent of my theories. Also, the Gold deposits and so on that are described as being there, you’ve got to look at where those could have been and Africa is one of the locations that could have been where the Garden of Eden was.
Ok, so the first people were Africans, the scientists and Theologians agree on that. Africans are black (brown). God is orderly,
1 Corinthians 14:33 [NLT] “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”
Evolution is something that happens where sensible changes occur due to environment/food. An organism that is suited to the environment will flourish and pass on it’s genes and one that is not suitable, the theory assumes, will not flourish and maybe die out. The theory assumes that changes that aren’t useful aren’t sustained through natural selection because they aren’t useful. Again this is all GCSE Evolution stuff http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa/evolutiontheories/theoriesofevolutionrev4.shtml.
This explains why Black people have more melanin in their skin, better protection from the sun (we still burn though, everybody needs to stay out of the sun see this article for more on melanin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671032/), they tend to have either the sickle cell trait (like me) or the full blown thing, that provides protection from malaria, these are physical adaptations that suit the hot environments that Black people tend to live in this article goes in to that and other ethnicities which may have an even better immunity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269803/. Whereas areas that tend not to be populated by Black people are not as sunny and you get lots of White people, this article explains about the amount of UV radiation an area gets and how that correlates to skin colour, basically, the sunnier the area, the darker the skin to protect from the sun, the less sunny a place is the lighter the skin to absorb as much sunlight as possible for making Vit D https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/07/3/text_pop/l_073_04.html, TBH the whole making Vitamin D thing is probably why humans were originally naked in the first place. Keeps you cool as well!
God is not disorderly, He is sensible, all knowing and just and things don’t happen in evolution that are not useful to the organism or are not suitable for the environment/longevity for the organism.
So in answer to my question, in the war between the White Alpha-Male and the oppressed Black Woman, the biggest looser is actually the White Alpha-Male. I think this because clearly thinking about God being sensible/orderly and Evolution being sensible and orderly we can assume that the Black woman would never have developed or been created if she was not the most useful, appropriate and evolutionarily/theologically sound, emotionally gratifying, intellectually satisfying and sexually compatible companion for the male Homo Sapien. It’s from the Black woman that all these other ethnicities came from, the genes that were able to adapt so well to the colder environments producing Caucasian people came from Black people! To this day the Black woman’s body STILL thrives, even after everything that the White man has thrown at her, she still continues, still unbroken. With that in mind, with the resilience of the Black woman’s body and mind, if she had been able to thrive culturally, what kind of place would the world have been today? What kind of contribution, genetically, emotionally, physically, spiritually could the Black woman have made if she was given a voice, respect, dignity?
RECAP: Let’s do a non-racist re-read of the Genesis account
Think, the first woman, Eve, had to be Black, even scientists corroborate that. It’s well known that the first people were Africans. With that in mind, lets do a non-racist look at Genesis again:
Genesis 1:26-27 [NLT]
“ Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”  So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
So in the beginning, God made the first humans, as we know from the Bible and science that the first humans lived in Africa. So when God said “let’s make humans in our image”, HE MADE TWO BLACK PEOPLE haha! You racist Evangelical “Christians” can stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!! The first humans, as the scientists said came from Africa! Which means that when God thought about making a people in His own image a Black person was the first thing that came to mind and when God looked over it He Himself said it was good! HAH!
Genesis 1:31 [NLT] “ Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.”
God said the people He had just made, the Black people, were good, how dare you say otherwise? Who are you? Have you actually read your Bible? If’ you’re racist or you allow other people to influence your choices based on racist ideology and you call yourself a Christian you have not read your Bible at all, it’s an un-scriptural thought process and scientifically/evolutionarily unsound thought process. Remember, if Moses’ Black wife was good enough for God, then Black people today should be good enough for you.
What else does Genesis say?
Genesis 2:18,21-25 [NLT]
“ Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”… “ So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening.  Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.  “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'”  This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.  Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”
Oh look at that, when God saw that it wasn’t good for the man to be alone, He made the perfect companion for the man, woman who Adam called “Woman” and then called her “Eve” after the fall, as we know the first humans were Africans so EVE WAS BLACK, God thought that the perfect companion for the man was A BLACK WOMAN this just keeps on getting better!
You know the thing that warms the cockles of my heart the most? ADAM GAZED UPON EVE’S NAKED BODY, OBSERVED THE WAY THE LIGHT FLICKERED OF HER BEAUTIFUL BROWN CURVES AND ADAM LIKED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha! =P
Genesis 2:22-24 [NLT]
“ Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.  “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'”  This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”
Yes, Adam would have been Black himself and yes a case could be made that he was more likely to want a woman his colour, however, what I will say to that is what this story illustrates is that when man first saw woman he liked her and she was Black. I’m just pointing out yet again another lost narrative promoting and affirming the beauty and desirability of the Black woman.
Other reasons racism makes you miss out
When you just date within your race as a rule of thumb you basically become inbred and miss out on what is called Hybrid-Rigidity (it goes by other names as well), in a nutshell, that means that illnesses common to one family are cancelled out by the new genes from another family. There was an interesting study done on this, apparently people who have a mixed ethnicity are perceived to be more attractive because of this hybrid-rigidity thing, you can read a about it here (succinct summary) (wider summary) (the actual study). I’m not saying that one ethnicity is more attractive than an other, I can’t and I outright refuse to. How can one possibly quantify attractiveness? Really? I’m just pointing out that research has been done in the area.
Racism vs Sexual preference
I really think I need to put this in here. There is a MASSIVE difference between racist ideology and sexual preference. Sexual preference always supersedes racist ideology psychologically but racist ideology will always influence the sexual preferences a person will ultimately express. Let me explain, you can’t help who you are attracted to, if you’re attracted to a Black woman, no matter how hard you try you will always be attracted to that woman but because you are racist or a coward, you won’t ever follow through on your feelings and will forever internalise your affection for that woman.
However, if a man is attracted to blonde hair and blue eyes, he’s attracted to blonde hair and blue eyes, these are normally found on White women, so he’s going to end up with a White woman because that is his sexual preference, not necessarily because he thinks Black women are ugly, he just likes the look of biological attributes that are primarily attributed to White women. There’s nothing wrong with that.
What would be considered racism is the idea that ONLY White women or women of a certain ethnicity CAN be attractive and no other ethnicity is capable of producing attractive women. With a thought process like that a man then departs from the justification of sexual preference and enters the realms of racist ideology.
The best bit
At this point you must be thinking, so where is Catherine going with this? Well I’m saving the best bit till last! As we all came from Africans it means everyone is actually Black anyway, some are just a lighter shade of brown, Black people and White people are compatible because we are both humans, we are related. There is one human race and many ethnicities just like there are lots of different shaped and coloured flowers!
The Black woman’s body needs to be respected and loved and our minds need to be respected as well. The Black woman’s body needs to be seen as beautiful and associated with beauty not eroticism. The black woman’s body needs to be seen as the source of diversity if all people came from Africa. I’m not saying that Black women are the most attractive women in the world. I am saying that everything that you look at a woman and think is attractive came from the genes of a Black woman. I’m not saying that they are better companions for men than any other race but I just think that we need to recognise that Eve was Black and do away with any kind of notions of supremacy until they find some more bones somewhere else.
The church and society needs to view the body of the Black woman the same way God does, beautiful, resourceful and an asset to the man who loves and cares for her. The church/theologians have a lot to answer for and I’m angry because it only take a simple Google search to find many of the answers to the things that I’ve been discussing yet the mainstream Theologians will not dedicate enough time to this dialogue. The church needs to re-read the Bible without the Racist-Eurocentric-White-Alpha-Male-phillic goggles and reassess the status of the Black woman’s body within the Bible and honestly someone should apologize to the Black community for the church’s involvement in slavery and keeping the Black woman down. (It might have already been done, I didn’t look it up, I assume it hasn’t because it would come up every Black History Month if it did but I could be wrong).
I am a Christian, I believe in Jesus and I also believe in proper research, thinking things through. Other people will try and gloss over things to not bring embarrassment to the church but I hope people reading this will believe me, someone who has your best interests at heart will point out things that are wrong even if they will hurt the institution that they belong to. Even though I am a Christian, I believe what has gone on in the church is wrong, yes the African’s did sell each other into slavery and the slavers as well as the African’s should apologise to the African-American and Caribbean diaspora descendents of those slaves BUT the church and theologians are responsible for what happened later to the Black woman’s body, whilst the White man was in loci parentis after they left Africa, not just to us but the church has treated the Jews badly too. If the main popular leaders and theologians dedicated more time and publicity to the topic things would be different but they are too scared. What White Male Pastor of a mega-church in America is ever going to say “When God decided to make humans in His own image He made two Black people” ? -_- Jesus didn’t create organized religion, Humans did. Christianity has been politicized heavily. We need to live a Holy God centred life not a religious one, we need to follow Jesus not tradition and we need to read the Bible and say what it says not what we think or want it to say and do so with integrity. How can we expect people to believe in Jesus if we CONSTANTLY MISREPRESENT HIM? Jesus is for every colour. There were racial tensions in Jesus’ day too an when non-Jews talked to him He talked with them – John4:4-30 ; healed them -Matthew 8:5-11; and even defended them as we see in the story of Moses’ wife Numbers 12:1-15 and also the story of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37 (the Samaritans and the Jews did not like each other).
The Black woman needs to be seen as beautiful because we are and the Bible corroborates that, God doesn’t mind the mixed relationships because God knows that we are all the same. Quit the dismissal of the Black woman just quit it right now, anyone who tries to get you not to date a Black woman based solely on her race is a nit-wit, don’t date her because she doesn’t share your values or she’s too young for you or she lives too far away or you can’t stand her cooking lol but not because she isn’t your colour! Remember, you are just as African as she is, you just forgot.
Written by a Black woman, who is also a woman of faith, a musician and an academic