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The Strong Black Woman vs the Blessed Black Woman

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Black Women were never especially strong but always determined and always blessed. Nevertheless Black women were forced to act strong as their children were sold into slavery. For if she dared show too much emotion, she could be whipped and also bring further harm onto the child. “Don’t cry,” she would likely be told, you still have these other young’uns to care fer.”

Although she cried herself to sleep on many nights, she woke up and prepared the master’s breakfast and cared for his precious white children. The Black woman has always felt the pain of a cheating husband, a son or daughter in prison, a child addicted to drugs, a sexually harassing employer, and the pain of being told that neither she nor her hair was pretty enough to be favored by men. No she was not strong enough to carry the hatred of society on her shoulders but she was determined not to let the world beat her down.

Although Black women are not loved by God more or less than anyone else, because the bible says, ‘God is no respecter of persons,’ it seems that Black women are the largest followers of the Christian faith, according to a recent study by The Pew Research Center To read the study go to: http://pewforum.org/A-Religious-Portrait-of-African-Americans.aspx.

As in the population overall, African-American men are significantly more likely than women to be unaffiliated with any religion (16% vs. 9%). African-American women are somewhat more likely than African-American men to describe themselves as Protestant (82% of women vs. 72% of men). Among African-American women, 62% are members of historically Black Protestant churches, 16% are affiliated with evangelical churches and 4% are mainline Protestant; among men, 55% are members of historically Black churches, 14% are evangelical and 4% are mainline Protestant.

African-American women also stand out for their high level of religious commitment. More than eight-in-ten Black women (84%) say religion is very important to them, and roughly six-in-ten (59%) say they attend religious services at least once a week. No group of men or women from any other racial or ethnic background exhibits comparably high levels of religious observance.

Sometimes it seems as if Black women are given the test of the biblical character Job. Their children are murdered most often, their children’s father leaves most often, they succumb to breast cancer most often, succumb to AIDS more than other female in America, held down the most but also they’re the most resilient. According to the Center for Business Women Research, between 2002 and 2008 the number of firms owned by Black women increased 19% - twice as fast as all other firms. And they generated 29 billion dollars in sales and are still growing. And in colleges and universities across America, Black women are earning degrees in record numbers.

With all the statistics against her, Black women commit suicide less than white men, white women, and Black men in America. The next time that I hear someone describe a Black woman as being strong because she seems to endure and bounce back from the woes of society, I will correct them. “Huh, pardon me,” I would say, “she not a Strong Black Woman but a Blessed Black Woman.”

Email: richardojones1@verizon.net

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