Is It True That Black Churches “Keep Black Women Single And Hopeless?”

Shouldn't have painted the town red last night

By Victor Ochieng

According to a PEW report, Black women are the most religious people in the United States. As for the black women in the South, they come forth as the most religious across the world. Most people who look at this believe it’s a good thing as it keeps them spiritually nourished.

However, there are individuals who’ve made claims that the Black church isn’t doing any good to the Black woman, claiming it’s being used to manipulate them.

Author Deborah Cooper believes that the black church is keeping black women single and lonely. In a firmly worded article released in 2010, titled “The Black Church: How Black Churches Keep African American Women Single and Lonely,” Cooper said black church is responsible for the disproportionate number of single black women. With the leadership of the black church predominantly male, Cooper says the leadership mandates that black women should only marry men of their faith and demands that they remain submissive to their husbands. Cooper’s article claims that the black church is interested “in maintaining high numbers of single Black women as members of their congregations.”

Cooper goes ahead to allege that black church manipulates black women by discriminating against the women and children.

In one of her points that was widely supported, she cites the fear among black women to question things going on in the church as a reason why black women remain. She advises that women should be ready to use their brains to distinguish between what’s right and what’s wrong so that they’re not led like blind flock.

National statistics revealed that more than 40% of black women had never been married, compared to about 20% of white women. At the same time, black women who divorce are less likely to remarry.

It’s, however, good to note that these numbers include non-believers as well.

Cooper looks at these figures as supportive of her school of thought that black church keeps black women single.

Cooper’s critics have pointed out that she has no ground to criticize any Christian group on the basis of their faith, owing to the fact that she isn’t a Christian in the first place. In an interview with David Watkins, a professor at Syracuse University, she didn’t come forward with her reasoning for criticizing the black church. Cooper was asked if she had some experiences that pushed her to write the critique.

In dismissing Cooper’s comment, with an emphasis on the fact that she’s not Christian, an article published on referenced 1 Corinthians 2:14, which says, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”