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Naylah, 16, reported that if she is sandwiched between white friends, someone will inevitably comment on “the swirl.” She also reported that, because her skin was lighter, she was more accepted than classmates who were darker and more identifiably African American, as judged by their neighborhoods or accents.Deja, now 18, remembers a formative incident from middle school, in which she expressed interest in a white boy in her class.Along with the greater multi-racial church, we have the power to offer young black women what they need to root their identity in the knowledge of their belovedness in God’s sight, rather than in the fleeting appraisals of the current society and culture.Dating is tough in general, but being a woman who is HIV-positive presents a whole host of unique questions and issues.However, many contemporary black women—especially those who come of age in the inner city—are unmarried and often lack modeling for what a healthy African American marriage looks like.In my region of upstate New York, for example, it’s a rare sight to see a black male under 40 with a black female.Research on online dating indicates that black females get much less interest than women of other races.They also have to contend with stereotypes of the angry, loud, or “ratchet” black female.
Together, black fathers, black mothers, “other mothers,” and “other fathers” are the pillars of the African American Christian community best suited to instill resilience against flawed self images.Now as a married, middle-aged woman, I try to be intentional about reaching out to younger Christians, especially women still finding their way in relationships with men.Although Scripture exhorts older women like me to disciple the younger (Titus 2), black fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, cousins, boyfriends, and husbands are also called to play a pivotal role in encouraging and affirming single black women.(By contrast, my husband’s and my generation, the baby boomers, did tend to date and marry within our race.) While intermarriage is becoming more common, black women in America still face significant challenges in their relationships with black men, and the problem is doubly difficult for women in the church.According to David Morrow in , “a staggering 92 percent of African-American churches in America reported a gender gap.” According to Morrow’s sources, “75 to 90 percent of the adults in the typical African-American congregation are women.” That means black Christian women face a low probability of marrying black Christian men.