A Dialog with Candice Marie Benbow About Her New E book, ‘Crimson Lip Theology’

Candice Marie Benbow situates her work on the intersections of magnificence, religion, feminism, and tradition, giving voice to Black ladies’s shared experiences of therapeutic and journeying towards wholeness. A theologian and educator, she by no means minces phrases. This is the reason we love her.

In her first e-book, Crimson Lip Theology: For Church Ladies Who’ve Thought of Tithing to the Magnificence Provide Retailer When Sunday Morning Isn’t Sufficient, Benbow is humorous and deeply private. She’s so actual that as I learn, I felt uncovered. The essays communicate to loss, forgiveness, heartache, and sexuality. It’s a love letter to Black ladies that I couldn’t put down.

BGN had the pleasure of talking with Benbow by way of phone to debate the significance of her e-book, feminism because it pertains to Black ladies, and what it means to be totally liked by God.

First, congratulations on Crimson Lip Theology. Lately, you posted on Instagram that you just prayed Black ladies would “actually get” this e-book, and that you just wrote it for us. Why was this e-book so vital so that you can put out on the earth?

One of many issues I used to be all the time annoyed about was that there have been a number of religion conversations happening, however Black ladies weren’t on the forefront of these conversations. Then, there are some conversations that Black ladies are on the forefront of, nevertheless it’s a selected type of Black girl. She could also be rather more conservative and conventional in her theology. There are sisters who love God, who’re deeply trustworthy however have a special articulation of religion. We deserve equal alternative to have conversations which might be grounded holistically. I needed to be part of that motion. I needed to be part of what it means for Black ladies to assume in a different way about religion. I needed to be part of what it appears to be like like for us to be speaking.

My prayer was that Black ladies would get it as a result of I wrote it with the abiding love that I’ve for sisters to be on the heart of their very own religion conversations — to be hallowed in that and honor what it means to belief the voice of your self, once you’re making religion selections and don’t all the time should lean on and listen to from males. You’ll be able to belief the figuring out you’ve inside your self to query issues, to honor issues, to stroll away from issues, and also you don’t want males to let you know the best way to transfer in that regard.

Within the introduction of the e-book, you say, “It doesn’t matter what situation I discover myself in at any given second, I do know I’m totally liked by God.” Why do Black ladies typically really feel after they have “tousled” or get off observe that God won’t love them anymore?

There’s a lot disgrace that takes place once we make errors. There’s this concept that “I ought to know higher.” The reality is all of us make errors. There have been instances that I decided that I believed was greatest on the time. Then had been instances after I knew I used to be being a multitude. I knew I used to be being trifling, and I did it anyway. Too typically we let the disgrace transfer us into some actually morbid and morose ideas about ourselves. That disgrace and guilt paralyzes us momentarily, and we’re not capable of see the fantastic thing about having the ability to make a special determination or the fantastic thing about what it’d imply to regroup.

Too typically we borrow from society the expectation that we’re imagined to be good and that we’re imagined to do no improper. After we don’t stay as much as that in our minds, we may be actually brutal on ourselves. It’s simply not loving, and it doesn’t give us the house to develop in care.

After we speak about feminism, many Black ladies keep away from the dialog and hesitate calling themselves a feminist as a result of they imagine it’s just for white ladies. What are your ideas about this?

Relating to Black Christian ladies who’re cisgender/heterosexual, we’re making an attempt to denounce feminism as a result of we predict that’s going to push us slightly bit nearer within the line of getting a husband. We expect it in some way suggests we’re worthy of the issues we would like — a husband, a household. I imagine we had been created with intention; if God created me to be a lady and I’m residing out this life, then why would I be okay with issues that oppress me? That’s basically antithetical to the life God desires for me, the identical manner that males, particularly Christian males, shouldn’t need to stay in a world the place energy is hoarded by them.

I had a random dialog with somebody that mentioned that the primary wave of feminism is the one vital one. How? As a result of it’s the one one which allowed us to get financial institution accounts, properties, and jobs, and that was sufficient. Different waves destroyed Black womanhood. However there are ladies in 2022 having to combat as a result of their employers are discovering inventive methods to fireplace them after that they had a baby. However you’re telling me the most effective factor that’s occurred to us is that we are able to go to the financial institution and open a checking account?

It turns into clear that a part of their resistance to feminism is in order that they will attraction to males. I want household, marriage, and partnership similar to everyone else. However not on the expense of my very own personhood. Not on the expense of who I’m as a lady. There are little women in my household, there are little women that can come behind me, and possibly I’ll have my very own sooner or later. I would like them to know that nothing is inconceivable for them just because they had been born a feminine. It needs to be that actual and that understood.

As a Black girl author, do you generally battle with figuring out your true work? How do you dwelling in on what that’s?

Completely. So far as determining what grounds my work and my writing, I’ll say that for the final seven to eight years, it’s been very clear to me that my work is rooted within the flourishing of Black individuals, Black ladies particularly. What I write all the time comes from that place. What helps us thrive and flourish? What’s in the best way of us thriving and flourishing? These are all the time my massive questions, and that’s the place my work is rooted. Finally, I’ve gotten very comfy with my voice and understanding that’s the work that I’m referred to as to.

What I realized in a short time was to seek out an angle in order that in each story I may carry these intentions to it. As soon as I took the time to get settled into the truth that I’m author, I didn’t shrink back from that. I used to be capable of transfer much more rapidly into what that appears like for me to honor and stay into the decision and the work.

Crimson Lip Theology is out there January 18, 2022.

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