I define myself and this blog as a reflection of intersectional christianity/faith.
Everything in my life, including my relationship with and understanding of God (and by proxy, Christian theology), is intersectional and interpreted through the lens of my lived experience. Confused about what intersectionality is? Never fear!
in·ter·sec·tion·al·i·ty ˌintərsekSHəˈnalədē/ noun the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
Believe it or not, your identification within certain categories will affect how you relate to God, church, and theology. For me, it looks a little something like this:
I’m a Black American by nationality. These two designations, both Black and American, come with their own weight and contributions to how I see the world. As a Black person, I articulate many experiences through the historical oppressions and disadvantages of Blackness. As a Black + American person, I can tend to forget the African Diasporic (Black-identified people around the world) experience may not always be the same as mine. It also means I have a complicated relationship with American government and social structures as they’ve often worked against rather than with me.
In relationship to faith, my Blackness firmly roots me in the experience of the Black Church. More specifically, the Pentecostal/Baptist/Church of God in Christ experience. I’m the daughter of a preacher and have known church all of my life. My Blackness constructs my view of faith both as a saving grace and a crippling downfall to the progression of my people as whole. Though the tenets of Christianity are generally the same, the Black Church is a specific experience and has its own problematic theology that I work to undo daily. My Blackness + Faith means I’m deeply stirred by the foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’ call-and-response of the church’s hymns while repulsed by its sexism and homophobia and its failure to aid in the building of our communities.
I’m a woman. Specifically, I’m a cisgendered woman which means I identify with and present as the gender I biologically am. As you can imagine, I’m hit with the double whammy of being both Black and a woman, putting me pretty high on the list of disadvantaged social groups.
I’m a first generation middle class who comes from a working class background. I have two degrees and a corporate career. This means that I can have a view that is classist and elitist against people who do not have that shared experience. With respect to my faith it means I often more critical of theology than others might be, which can be alienating to fellow people of faith.