Black Men and the Church

Here’s my problem with Black men and the church. I think you all take the biblical aspect of womanhood and submission to an entirely different level. Which I really do believe was unintended of the most high. I understand that Black men are often negatively overexposed and undervalued. I get that; the Black community in many ways is still seeking validation. Although, racism continues to thrive, Black women seem to be at a social advantage. She’s more educated, provided more opportunities in the work place; she’s being given more positions of power, etc. However, Black men, brethren of the church seem to experience a special privilege sometimes unattained in main stream society; leadership. If a Black man is nothing else in today’s secular world, he can exercise real leadership in the church; most advantageous to him because many Black churches seem to only keep women in the kitchen and teaching the children.

Now I understand a number of growing Black churches are allowing women positions of leadership in the church. Not always leadership, but more prominent roles and active involvement in decision-making. You will also notice that Black churches that allow more female involvement tend to be more progressive, than those whom are mostly male dominant. Yes, I said it. Take a look around you. Black churches mostly or entirely run by men tend to be stagnant in growth, hanging on to tradition, and ultimately becoming more man focused than God focused.

I have personally experienced church environments practicing tradition that has no biblical support what so ever. The value of the woman has transitioned from the helpmate of the husband to the helpmate of the church. Yes, many brethren manage their church congregations as if it was his own home. Is she to tend to the church as she is so inclined to tend to the home? It seems the Black woman in the Black church has been given a position of servitude; not to God, but to man. Just as the Black man fulfills the position of head of household, does this also include the church? Brothers and sisters of the church are continuing to lose sight of who the real leader is. I say, the Black woman is quite capable of being instrumental in the growth of the church without threatening the Black man’s biblical interpretation of leadership and manhood; it seems one is dependent upon the other.

-Noni Ayana


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