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Is The Church Keeping Black Women Single?

Submitted by on October 21, 2010 – 11:20 am6 Comments

In a recent Yale University study, it was reported that 42% of Black women in America are single, roughly double the amount of their Caucasian counterparts. Of course, with such staggering numbers, there is a need to explain this phenomenon. While it may seem logical to blame this large single group of women on men who have a tendency to date outside their race (or the age old argument that there are no good men left), one woman has a different approach: Blame the Black Church.

Relationship expert and advice columnist Deborrah Cooper has said that church gives Black women unrealistically high standards for potential suitors. For instance, these women are looking for men who go to church multiple times a week, knows Scripture, etc. She argues this greatly narrows the playing field for these women to actually find a man.

Furthermore, she argues the church indoctrinates Black women to wait on the Lord to send them the man of their dreams instead of pursuing that man more aggressively. On a more logical note, she says many women can’t find a man because they spend too much time in church while men are in other places (such as bars, clubs, sporting events, etc.).

Her most controversial notion, however, is that Black churches have a tendency to put the pastor on a pedestal, causing many women to look at the person—usually a male—in this role with a type of reverence and devotion which stifles their relationships with men. This may seem like a rather bold claim on the surface, but when one thinks about it in terms of examples such as this billboard for embattled bishop Eddie Long‘s church (which seems to exalt Long himself, not the Savior he claims to represent), it seems to have some merit.

In fact, considering the fact Black women have long been considered the “backbone” or driving force of the church, doesn’t it make sense the church would depend on single women to keep things going? Marriage and children would likely lead to less time and reduced roles for many of the women in the church, not to mention smaller contributions when the collection is taken up. Married women would not be beneficial to the church’s causes.

It should also be noted Cooper’s quite scathing criticisms of the church and Black women seem to hold a great deal of bias in them and should be taken for what they are—opinions. Before they could be validated, the number of single Black women who regularly attend church might be a statistic worth determining. Other than that, men and women of all races have to realize that ideals (concerning suitors ,as well as spiritual leaders) are not reality, and thus we may need to meet people where they are and consider their potential instead of waiting for the “perfect” mate to come along.


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  • Great article chris J! Personally I think black women keep black women single. Other races go to church too. Yeah that should piss off plenty of people there.

  • Mia Ty says:

    I’m a black female and I totally agree with you Rick. Having standards to high will cause you to be single for a loooooooong time. Lower your standards a little and stop passing up the bus driver, construction worker, and garbage man because he doesn’t make the type of money he should to provide for his family. Hell be glad the man has a job and broaden your horizons some, who said that you had to date someone the same race as you.

  • Kwaping says:

    Having high standards is great – as long as you are realistic about them. Also, there’s nothing wrong with being single if you’re happy! And even if you’re not happily single, you shouldn’t lower your standards just to get with “someone – anyone!” What’s the use being with someone if they’re not right for you?

    If someone is single and unhappy about it, I propose they figure out how to become happily single instead of lowering their standards just to get in a relationship. True happiness comes from within. If you don’t have it single, you won’t have it in a relationship either.

  • I agree with kwaping.

    People should have standards that suit them that they actually want. Not standards from their friend, society etc. Many people base their wants and needs off of what media and others do or say. In order to feel accepted, envied, ie keeping up with the jones’s.

    People don’t realize how some media sabotages people. Seriously how much ratings would a show radio/tv if they brought on “everyday good men” vs “this nigga did her wrong so hate on all men” and/or “this girl is living the life cause she found her a baller”. Instead of going “that’s a load of crap, my life is good”, they take it as gospel. Go out and jack their life up then look for help from that same place that messed it up.

    Then you got all the females out there that are pissed at that one or few guys, but they project on every guy. They preach to their daughters, sisters, girls etc. Because misery loves company. It spreads. Instead of picking the right guy, they go to the same formula that gave them the wrong answer.

  • hakim green says:

    The real issue is that our value system has been programmed into us by someone outside of our immediate culture. The Church, school system and every other European institution was founded to keep us, as a people, from advancing. We have all been negatively affected. Most so-called christians have no idea of the political origins of it’s religious system. They follow the program out of fear, guilt, and ignorance. That’s not just a christian thing, it’s a people/sheeple thing.

  • Mltd Coupons says:

    Kwaping – You and I think exactly alike.

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