In this timely, much-needed book, theologian, social psychologist, and activist Christena Cleveland recounts her personal journey to dismantle the cultural “whitemalegod” and uncover the Sacred Black Feminine, introducing a Black Female God who imbues us with hope, healing, and liberating presence.
For years, Christena Cleveland spoke about racial reconciliation to congregations, justice organizations, and colleges. But she increasingly felt she could no longer trust in the God she’d been implicitly taught to worship—a white male God who preferentially empowered white men despite his claim to love all people. A God who clearly did not relate to, advocate for, or affirm a Black woman like Christena.
Her crisis of faith sent her on an intellectual and spiritual journey through history and across France, on a 400-mile walking pilgrimage to the ancient shrines of Black Madonnas to find healing in the Sacred Black Feminine. God Is a Black Woman is the chronicle of her liberating transformation and a critique of a society shaped by white patriarchal Christianity and culture. Christena reveals how America’s collective idea of God as a white man has perpetuated hurt, hopelessness, and racial and gender oppression. Integrating her powerful personal story, womanist ideology, as well as theological, historical, and social science research, she invites us to take seriously the truth that God is not white nor male and gives us a new and hopeful path for connecting with the divine and honoring the sacredness of all Black people.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
1 She Who Is Worth Seeking at All Costs 1
2 In god we can't trust: the problem with whitemalegod 22
3 She Who Guides Us along the Freedom Path 52
4 God of the gag reflex: whitemalegod's disgust for human need 78
5 She Who Cherishes Our Hot Mess 98
6 God of bulimia: whitemalegod's war on our bodies 118
7 She Whose Thick Thighs Save Lives 143
8 Machiavellian monster: whitemalegod's liturgy of fear 163
9 She Who Loves by Letting Go 182
10 God of white women 203
11 She Who Is Unapologetically Black 220
12 She Who Has the Final Word 233