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Publisher's Summary

In this timely, much-needed book, theologian, social psychologist, and activist Christena Cleveland recounts her personal journey to dismantle the cultural “White male God” and uncover the Sacred Black Feminine, introducing a Black female God who imbues us with hope, healing, and liberating presence.

For years, Christena Cleveland spoke about racial reconciliation to congregations, justice organizations, and colleges. But she increasingly felt she could no longer trust in the God she’d been implicitly taught to worship - a White male God who preferentially empowered White men despite his claim to love all people. A God who clearly did not relate to, advocate for, or affirm a Black woman like Christena. 

Her crisis of faith sent her on an intellectual and spiritual journey through history and across France, on a 400-mile walking pilgrimage to the ancient shrines of Black Madonnas to find healing in the Sacred Black Feminine. God Is a Black Woman is the chronicle of her liberating transformation and a critique of a society shaped by White patriarchal Christianity and culture. Christena reveals how America’s collective idea of God as a White man has perpetuated hurt, hopelessness, and racial and gender oppression. Integrating her powerful personal story, womanist ideology, as well as theological, historical, and social science research, she invites us to take seriously the truth that God is not White nor male and gives us a new and hopeful path for connecting with the divine and honoring the sacredness of all Black people.

©2022 Christena Cleveland (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about God Is a Black Woman

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Saved my Mind, Soul and Body

This book is relevant, timely and life affirming for this Black Woman. Thank You. Forever.

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Love <3

This book has been so healing and revealing. I’m in love. Thank you Christena <3

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Enlightening Thoughts on Spiritual Growth

Enlightening and made me think on a spiritual level and look within to harness my energy Spiritual being and creativity

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Don’t let the voice deter you from the message

This is a powerful book worthy of full engagement. While the narration seemed robotic and not as engaging as the story itself, the message still shines through. I will definitely purchase a physical copy of the book as well. This is a message to be savored over and over again.

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As A Black Woman Atheist, I enjoyed your book

I too was disenchanted with white male god and thankfully came to the conclusion years ago that I no longer believe in him.

Although I don’t believe in any gods, if there is one, it’s gotta be a Black woman. 🙂

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Excellent!

As a black woman this is the best most relevant book I’ve read in years. Thank you!

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  • Robert de Castel
  • 03-30-22

Disappointing

I got this book because I was interested in its central idea of exploring the sacred black feminine yet this book was a disappointment. While the memoir sections of the book were interesting enough, the recurring appearance of the sacred black feminine as the black Madonnas of France felt like a high grade undergraduate essay. For example at one point we encounter a black Madonna standing on lotus flowers and our author quotes a famous Vietnamese Buddhist teacher on what the flower meant to him. Yet at no point does the author seem to be curious if lotus flowers have the same symbolic meaning in rural Catholic France (where the Madonna is) and in Buddhist Vietnam. And this gets to the central problem with the book. Our author laments white men being able to write about subjects in which they have little experience yet she has written a book largely about the black Madonnas of France despite not being French or Catholic, speaking little French and having no formal training in either art criticism or art history. This book proved only that academic entitlement to a subject is not solely the domain of white men.