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Christ Our Black Mother Speaks (Digital PDF)


An 84-page, full color collection of art, essays, questions and practices to deepen our connection to the Dark Divine Feminine.

From the Preface:

Our conditioning has taught us to automatically perceive femininity as untrustworthy and blackness as dirty. So, black femininity is perceived as wholly unholy.

There’s something very evil about the way black women in particular are perceived as distant from the Divine. It brings to mind the Jezebel stereotype, the idea that black women are lascivious by nature, which has long plagued black women… [and] continues to thrive today…

In this volume of essays, I turn toward images of Christ on the cross. As I continue my exploration of the wholly holy female face of God, I ask a deeper question.

What does God’s femaleness and blackness practically mean for my particular black female experience?

And what does God’s femaleness and blackness practically mean for all of us? 

This deepening resource, which includes recommended reflection questions and interfaith spiritual practices, is a wonderful tool for personal and/or community exploration. So don’t forget to purchase copies for your friends!

Christena Cleveland Ph.D. is a social psychologist, public theologian, author, and activist. She is the founder and director of the recently-launched Center for Justice + Renewal, a non-profit dedicated to helping justice advocates sharpen their understanding of the social realities that maintain injustice while also stimulating the soul’s enormous capacity to resist and transform those realities. Committed to leading both in scholarly settings and in the public square, Christena writes regularly, speaks widely, and consults with organizations.

Dr. Cleveland holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara as well as an honorary doctorate from the Virginia Theological Seminary. She integrates psychology, theology, and art to stimulate our spiritual imaginations. An award-winning researcher and author, Christena has held faculty positions at several institutions of higher education — most recently at Duke University’s Divinity School, where she led a research team investigating self-compassion as a buffer to racial stress. She is currently working on her third book which examines the relationship among race, gender, and cultural perceptions of the Divine.

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