Black Churches Talk Sexuality On-Line

According to popular reports, sexuality is a taboo topic in African American churches. The black church has been described as simultaneously one of the most homophobic and homo-accepting institutions. In recent years there have been numerous media stories that have centered around the intersections of black churches and sexuality, in general, and homosexuality, in particular. On one hand, black churches have figured centrally as the foil in discussions of the push for social equality on the part of LGBT persons in American society, as well as within Christian churches (i.e. same-sex marriage, “don‟t ask, don‟t tell”). On the other hand, there have been sensational accounts of sex scandals (i.e. no need to name names) in which African American preachers have been the main protagonists. In the former, black churches are typically cast as hyper-homophobic even as they are part of the larger culture of American evangelicalism that, as a rule, continues to unofficially elevate homosexuality as an ultimate “sin.” As for the latter, whether alleged or confirmed, the coverage and appeal of these stories taps into centuries-old tropes of black sexuality—both gay and straight—as defined by deviance... To read the rest of this essay and check out the dialogue of which it was a part, go to: The African American Lectionary Project