A survey conducted by the Kaiser Foundation and the Washington Post reveals that African-American women are among the most religious groups of people in America. Seventy-four percent of African-American women polled revealed that living a religious life is very important to them, compared to just 57 percent of white women. The study also reveals the deep religious influence that spirituality has in the lives of black women.
It has been suggested that in times of turmoil, blacks have turned to their faith as a source of emotional and spiritual support. Theologians have argued that years of discrimination and oppression shepherded African-Americans, particularly women, into a devout faith that has played a preeminent role in black culture for hundreds of years.
Stacey Floyd-Thomas, an associate professor of ethics and society at Vanderbilt University Divinity School explained to the Washington Post the enduring role religion has played in the lives of African-American women. “Black women have been the most mistreated and scandalized in U.S. society and culture as they wrestle both individually and collectively with the triple jeopardy of racism, sexism and classism….if that is the case — and I believe it is — it is no wonder that black women, due to their experience of sexism, would seek out their faith as a way of finding relief, reprieve, resolution and redemption.”
Follow Caryn Freeman on Twitter.