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FYI: Black Folk Sexuality And The Black Church
by Sherri Jackson
2004-03-01

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'Sexuality—The condition of being characterized and distinguished by sex,concern with or interest in sexual activity.' — American Heritage Dictionary

If you mention or hear words revolved around sex, sexual orientation, and sexual relations we humans become fixated on that topic. We may not hear anything else important, educational, or a health concern around sex, but we hear 'sex' and have preconceived images of our on sexual frenzies and issues. Eyebrows raise and mouths open as leaders, scholars, religious, and social settings have debates and discussions around moral and ethical issues pertaining to sexuality. Let us not forget the media which plays a big part in how sexuality will be sold for profit especially towards folks of color, women, and the young. We are so focused on Kobe Bryant, and the whole image of inter-racial sex with a white woman. Maybe not so much all the political, ethical ties that play with both parties in a possible rape case? We are fascinated with the show Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, which some see as just another show of white male privilege! Forget the fact you have guys making over heterosexual men to make happy there heterosexual lady friends.

Meanwhile, we are still in political, societal, and religious debate about if we can marry, adopt children, and have the same equal rights and benefits as our heterosexual brothers and sisters. Now the latest, Janet Jackson's breast exposure! But sex sells and takes the focus off of the real issues of a selected, paranoid man for president whom continues to wage war. While millions continue to die of AIDS, and many remain jobless, and homeless. But sex sells!

Let's get real! We must recall in January during the State of the Union address the perceived message Bush sent to some. It was an attack on an independent judiciary. Urban Black airwaves saw it as an attack on the same-sex issue. But, also possibly to get Conservative Black voters to join Bush in his homophobic bashing and votes. Because we all know what those Blacks think of homosexuality and moral issues. It's strange and sad we forget some of our ancestors jumped the broom to be coupled. Their love, and union, was not sacred, or legal. Only when Master decided if it was legal. We have forgotten in some states only a few years ago inter-racial marriages were illegal and not accepted. But, sex sells.

In the Black community and church, sexuality is almost at times a taboo topic. I too have my own issues, at 41, around sexuality. I wonder if we still have any morals and values left? Some Blacks don't want to discuss publicly or see images where we are perceived too sexual, hot, rigid, and/or not sexual enough. Some Blacks don't want to discuss or see the discussion of our sexuality around or by whites.

In the Black church we know LBGT folks exist, but 'don't ask, don't tell' is best. Some folks love the person but they hate the sin, and/or the idea as some biblical leaders have taught. I once heard a mentor (minister) say, 'How can we discuss homosexuality in the Black church when we can't even discuss sexuality?' I heard it as he was trying to convey to the audience if we don't start talking about sexuality the Black community is headed for even more major health problems and division amongst the classes.

It does raise a question for the Black community. Sexuality and hang-ups with Blacks stems from history and society's perception of us as a people. Our Black bodies have been put on display and auctioned. The sad thing is now many Black folks have fallen into the sex sells. We look and act like whores! We are doing what the dominant society has said about us from the beginning of time.

In the Book Sexuality and the Black Church, by Kelly Brown Douglas, she takes us through a perspective of sexuality and the Black Church from a womanist viewpoint. Douglas takes us through the history of Black Sexuality and culture, stereotypes, false images, and terrorism. This is a read for discussion for all colors and genders.

The bible becomes a tool to censor LBGT individuals. 'Homophobia destroys Black life because it impairs the Black community!' said Douglas.

We must ask ourselves, does the text support the life and freedom of all Black people? We also must ask ourselves what happens to those lesbians and gays who remain closeted in the church? Does this have an impact on those of us who are out and proud? What about the millions who continue to die of AIDS because some Black churches remain silent on the issue? Next time we shall look at Homophobia and Heterosexism.

sherriactup2@yahoo.com


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