CLOSE
Leave a comment

Getty Images

A new and shocking LA Times report on the sexual harassment that Black female pastors have to deal with is raising eyebrows, to say the least. One lady pastor puts the blame on women for not saying anything.

“That goes to a culture where Black pastors know we won’t say anything, and when we don’t, the cycle continues,” says minister Tasha Morrison.

Here’s a taste of the article:

It was a sweltering weekday morning, and the vibe inside the Rev. Rosalynn Brookins’ Los Angeles home was festive.

“Girl! You look great!” “Are you a Delta?” “Hello, room of God!”

Ten women, all professionally accomplished, most ordained pastors, had gathered in Brookins’ living room to talk about a painful but little-discussed crisis: sexual harassment in the black church.

As Brookins passed out folding fans for the heat, the Rev. Naima Lett, a TV actress and producer, opened with a prayer: “We ask that you bless this conversation, that the truth set us free….”

Over the next two hours, the truth came spilling out. The room felt like a party, a church meeting and a group therapy session, with revelations and confessions that prompted tears, disagreements and plenty of laughter.

Black women, the backbone of their churches who far outnumber men as congregants, are in a bind that is historically unique.

“The Black church responds to Black male clergy like they are demigods, very revered,” said the Rev. Najuma Smith-Pollard, who convened the women as part of her work for the USC Dornsife Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement.

“You don’t rat out your pastor. You don’t bring the man of God down,” she said. “If a pastor is caught in an indiscretion, sometimes he gets moved, but a lot of black churches are not organizationally led, there is no board, so even if there is misconduct, there is nowhere to turn.”

Even now, she said, a woman is likely to be asked, “ ‘What did you do to provoke it?’ The message I kept hearing growing up was, ‘Pull your skirt down, close your legs.’”

Many of the women spoke of being molested or harassed in church and the pulpit, of feeling helpless, unsupported, with some finally questioning whether they belonged in church at all.

The Rev. Stephanie Butler-Adams, a former professional dancer, said she was invited to perform as a liturgical dancer at a megachurch in Texas. After her performance, she said, the pastor approached her lasciviously and, reaching for her skirt, asked if he could touch the hem of her garment. “He didn’t mean it as a gesture of respect,” she told me.

 

Celebs Who Have Been Accused of Sexual Assault
19 photos

READ MORE STORIES ON BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM:

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER: 

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM

2 thoughts on “Female Pastors Shed Light On Sexual Abuse In The Black Church

  1. African American Woman on said:

    None of any of this is new. With the ability to broadcast information to large audiences at once makes it easy for people to talk of their experiences. People always stay hush hush when religion is involved.

  2. It’s amazing that the more we learn about the shadiness going on in the Church as a whole–Catholic priests molesting kids, pastors on the down low, and now sexual harassment of female pastors–people still want to hold up the church as if it’s a bastion of truth and virtue. The Bible is. Christianity and the Church are not. Sorry, not sorry.

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s