Describing the Work
I am a writer, scholar, minister, and womanist. I work to promote healing, wholeness, and liberation for all people, but especially Black women. My work focuses on empowering Black Christian women to come to love their bodies and sexuality, and I hope to do this through teaching, preaching, writing, and research. This work is body-positive, sex-positive, and LGBTQ+ affirming. I take with me all of the lessons that I have learned from those who shared throughout this project.
This fall, I will begin pursuing a PhD in Cultural Anthropology with the hope of earning certificates in Feminist Studies and African and African American Studies. My doctoral project works to explore how Black Christian women come to understand their bodies and sexuality through dance “sacred” and “secular” spaces in the U.S. South. This project highlights one of the goals of my work which is to amplify the ways in which Black Christian women empower themselves and find freedom in a way that can inspire others to do the same.
Additionally, I am working for an intersectional feminist organization out of a university that strives to provide reliable resources for women, girls, and gender-expansive people around their health and sexuality. In a context in which there can be fear and shame around sexuality, it is important to be able to provide people with resources that will be helpful as they navigate questions around bodies, relationships, sex, and sexuality. As such, I also hope to become a certified sex and faith educator. I would like to be able to go to different churches, with a particular focus on Black Baptist churches, and speak to people, but especially Black Christian women, about relationships, sex, and sexuality, conversations that aren’t always had in church spaces.
I hope to be ordained, which will help open doors as it relates to being able to do this work in church spaces, as previously mentioned. I am also open to pastoring; however, I’m not sure if I’d ever be able to pastor in an established church given set religious culture and traditions. Yet, I am open to creating a new type of spiritual community, if that is something God calls me to. I am open to wherever the Spirit may lead.
Lastly, I will continue to write articles and blog posts that address the intersections of faith, race, gender, and sexuality. I would like to write a book someday, and I hope to be able to reach a point where I have time to write more leisurely about the topics that I am interested in and passionate about.
The Journey to This Work
Throughout this project, I’ve shared different parts of the journey. I do the work that I do because I had a perception of what the Bible said about sexuality, and when I got to seminary, I realized that perception was harmful and limiting. As such, I am at the beginning of the journey of doing ministry around faith and sexuality.
Obstacles and Barriers
The biggest obstacle I faced was myself. It was the fear of what people might say and think if I say that I am called to do work around faith and sexuality. I overcame that fear by speaking to those who are currently doing the work and being empowered by the stories that are highlighted here.
Advice for Those Hoping to Do This Work
My advice for those who want to do similar work would be to just do it! Seek out mentors and others who can offer guidance and advice. Network and find community that will support you in that work and those you can learn from and grow with. Be willing to step out on faith, and don’t be afraid to answer the ministry call. Do “the work [your] soul must have”!