August 10th, 2010
10:20 PM ET

Does the black church keep black women single?

CNN's Liane Membis filed this report:

Legs covered in skin-toned stockings, her skirt crisp to the knee, Patty Davis slips on the black heels she has shined for the day.

"Got to look good in the Lord's house," she says as she spritzes her neck with White Diamonds perfume and exits her black Lincoln Town Car.

Davis, 46, of Union City, Georgia, has attended African Methodist Episcopal churches since before she could crawl. She sits proudly in the pew every Sunday for service and is among the first to arrive for bible study each Wednesday.

Read the fully story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Race • Women

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Ampd4JC

    All I have to say is, I posted a comment recently on this article. However, it was deleted. Maybe because others didn't like what I said or found it to be offensive, and that's fine. I can understand that people sometimes cannot handle the truth. But, this time, all I will say is, this is the opinion of woman, who isn't saved, nor lives by any moral compass. For her to tell any other black woman who is saved what to do with their lives is rather unfortunate, and she has no foundation of authority upon which she could stand to tell me (a black woman who goes to church) what I should and should not do. Last I checked the journalists were supposed to be watchdogs of the government, a mediator between the people and the governing officials. Somewhere along the way, I think the media has become the watchdog of the people. Maybe, they should find out what their title really means, where it came from and get back to real reporting instead of dictating the lives of the rest of the American people.

    August 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  2. kymelle

    Its funny how when the video started the women claimed that available "good" men were everywhere, that they were plentiful. But the last sentence of the video pleaded to men "WE” are here.

    These women wanted to disprove stereo-types regarding the scarcity of black men...???!! (laughing)

    There's a problem in the black community. And indeed, it’s the black man and/or lack there of. "They" are quick to diagnose black women as bitter, an excuse to date outside the race. But unfortunately, the black man is ominous, mythological or ill-intended- and do not represent positive aspects of healthy relationships.

    It’s not just one or two begrudgeful black women. But, the countless numbers of single black women, generations of them, who are good, educated and well deserving, are the true indicators of something being wrong with the black man.

    August 19, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  3. sean demetrius

    I am a bit disappointed in how people talk about black men as if we were nothing, I apologize to every woman who ever had to deal with a bad man, whatever his race was. I feel as though church has som much to offer, and we get side tracked on the true purpose of going to church. Worshiping God and praising him for having that job, that car, and just for being God is the only reason for church. It was meant for fellowship, and our ancestors used it well. Church can get us through tough times, and prayer should not be foucsed on selfish things. God has a plan for everyone, but like any plan it requires obedience. I so proud of my religion, and this article only made me want to get closer to God. Thank you Debrah because we all needed that wake up. We might have been thinking the same thing on Sunday mornings. We may have been neglecting God as well, but now is the time to take action. We are all aware that not all the Bible is literal. It is evidence of that in all of the stories God told during his manifestation as Jesus. If you are looking for a mate, I suggest praying about it. Even if it is not in a church, but let your words end in if it is your will Lord. There would be no one to blame but God and we all know he never Fails. Good Luck from a Black Man

    August 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  4. legumepod

    Let me get this straight 1/3 of black men are dead or in prison and black women are single because it's the churches fault??? Gottcha.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
  5. MutantZ-man



    August 16, 2010 at 4:49 am |
  6. Theo

    Um, is it me, or are these alarmist "Why are black women single?" articlres starting to get ludicrous, not to mention slowly moving into stereotype territory? Now, according to "expert" Deborrah Cooper, black women are single because they're all glassy-eyed, Bible-banging lunatics crushing on their pastors who can't recognize a good man just because he doesn't go to church seven days a week. All I want to say is that nobody, black women or otherwise, needs to be taking these concern troll blogs disguised as journalistic contributions seriously.

    August 12, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • MutantZ-man


      August 16, 2010 at 4:48 am |
  7. nola

    black here means black american rite?? cos in my society/country church is one of the ways black women meet fab black men wiv at least a master's degree, home, job and manners of course..... but then again my society has to the barest minimum possible all d craziness black/american society possesses in terms of baby mama and papa,s drop-outs, illiterate, violence and drugs..................u mite want to relocate:) oops

    August 12, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  8. JJ

    I thought a church was for praying and praising God, not trolling for a mate.
    I would not want to date a woman from the same church I go to. If things do not work out, things would be awkward having to see eachother during church gatherings.

    August 12, 2010 at 6:29 am |
  9. Mark from Middle River

    I was finally able to watch the video and I think the older guy had hit the nail on the head. What is keeping most black women single is themselves. CNN is late...extremely late on this report or revelation. This is a argument that the African American community has been arguing for many years now. Often times to the point of fist fights. It is interesting to see it aimed directly at the black church and listening to and seeing the responses of the African Americans in this video it seems as though someone interviewing them and wanting them to say that it was the organized Black church that was the problem. Notice that they could not and would not say that. Sorry film guy or girl, go and try to find some gang bangers or drug addicts to say something foolish to embarrass the community on one of the largest world wide news sites.

    Personally, I fall with the belief that it is the African American woman that is looking for that dangerous black man that could go on a shooting spree tomorrow that she can change and bring into social compliance. Same reason that you see bloods and crypts walking rabid Pit-bull dogs. It is sadly the desire to show society that she, as a black woman, can control the uncontrollable. I may be wrong but it is something that has been brought up as reason by so many in the community.

    August 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • peace2all

      @Mark from Middle River

      Hi Mark..... It has been awhile..... I hope that you have been well....

      I enjoyed reading your post and gained some insight.... thank you...

      Peace to you....

      August 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
    • Karyn

      There are some women who are still attracted to the whole bad boy thing. However, speaking for myself and my mostly single friends (mid 30's to early 40's), we aren't looking for bad boys we are looking for men who know how to communicate, who can hold a job or have a career and who want to contribute to a relationship and not be coddled by a 'suga mama.'

      I attend church but not every Sunday and not several days a week. I believe in God and that is one critieria for a mate for me (along with sense of humor, morals, the ability to be honest...). Truthfully though, as a college-educated black woman with a degree and a good job, I have given up on men and accept being single. Black men in my circle would rather have a white woman. Incredibly, with all this talk about fat black women, most black men I know aren't with 'beautiful' white women. Most I see are dating overweight and frumpy white women. Go figure! I've tried dating outside my race but I'm not a sociological experiment and most while men I have dated treat me as some sort of novelty.

      So, I'm single and I'll probably stay that way.

      To the rest of my sistas! Good luck. Hope you find what you are looking for. : )

      August 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  10. topChoice


    rocksolid Reply:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Good Afternoon to ALL,

    It is very unfortunate that we are always ready to believe the worst to justify why something is not happening in our lives according to our plan.

    To the man who doesn’t want to date women “too deep” in the church…Maybe he doesn’t want to be held responsible for his role as a man according to God (priest, provider and protector)

    To the person who doesn’t pray anymore because her prayers aren’t answered…maybe they are being answered, but not in the way you are demanding!

    To the author who used to go to church AS A CHILD, if you don’t go know, how do you know what is happening now? Moreover, you or anyone else should not be going to church to look for a mate!!!!! I have not seen one church named, “First Baptist Church for black single women looking for a mate?”

    Equally as important, the Bible was written by man WITH the inspiration of God. If you are going to a church that makes you follow manmade rules, then you are in the wrong church and you should run away as fast as you can.

    For those people who don’t go to church because of hypocrisy, there is always an excuse to not do something and the devil will always bring an excuse for inaction before a solution for action can be considered.

    Lastly, as most importantly, why are YOU READERS so willing to accept what this bitter woman has to say about how you should view church. The Black Church was here before she was born and for sure it will be here long after she is gone. She included not one bit of her personal information to validate such alleged study. Is she married? If so, it must be an unhappy one, otherwise she shouldn’t have time to discourage others. If she is not married, again, what does she know. How many people has she or is she currently dating? How many were from the church and how many from the world? Did she previously date a Pastor or somebody, why such hostility?

    Please people…use your own mind and stop being so gullible…every thing that walks like a duck is not a duck; likewise, this woman with seemingly good advice is nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing attempting to keep you away from God’s word (which is designed to help you navigate through the world) by making untrue and biases statements about her limited knowledge by throwing out a few insignificant stats prepared by someone else.

    I hope my comments will cause you to pause whenever information comes your way by using the Holy Spirit to guide you (if you are saved) in deciphering fact from fiction.

    My people perish because of the lack of knowledge. Do you own research.

    Good day!!

    August 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
    • Bri

      Amen!! I could not have said this better myself.

      August 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Steph

      THATS WAS EXCELLENT!!! I dont have to give my opinion because you basically said it all!!!

      August 23, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Denise

      This was absolutely perfect! I agree with you 100%.

      September 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  11. Mark from Middle River

    I so agree with VanEckelen. I am seeing this as another article/blog that is slanted and a strike against religion. I am starting to see a common underlining theme in most of these articles..... organized religion bad bad bad ....

    For all the good that organized religion does and has done for my people as a African American I do wish that the blog authors would go and pick on some other groups.

    And as a African American male, the sports and the alpha male preacher theory I do not agree with.

    August 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  12. Ampd4JC

    To pose a poignant question such as the title suggests and then not fully answer the question is a journalistic fallacy in and of itself. Presenting the arugment in four distinctive areas and not tying up the loose ens leaves room for irreverant remarks by readers, of whom may not fully understand the intent and purpose of the article.

    Now to address the topic of this article, I am a black woman, who attends church regularly and interprets Scripture on a literal daily applicable basis. I believe that the moral ethos of which the Bible teaching women are relevant especially in today's society where the ideal woman is provacative sex kitten who struts around in her Victoria's Secret lingerie and skimpy clothing ready for a quick fling every time she steps outside the house. Nevertheless, a recent movie entitled "Something New" dealt with singleness in black women because of not only their standards but also their socio-economic status in life. This is common among successful black women who have stepped up to the plate and taken on insurmountable odds. And I would suggest fellow readers of this article to view the movie for a well balanced perspective.

    So yes, a woman would like to have equality in balance between he and the man in whom she intends to marry. Scripture does not condone casual dating nor touring clubs and bars to meet men who are not like-believers in the faith as they are. It is a common phenomenon amongst churched women that if they step outside the church to "find" a man, they will leave both God and the church behind in pursuit of keeping that man and are unlikely to return. After all Scripture says in Amos 3:3, "Can two walk together unless they be in agreement?" It also says in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness and what communion has light with darkness?" So for a woman to be with a man who is an unbeliever would be dishonorable to the God in whom she is serving. For her to say that a man needs to know God before knowing her is a high standard, yes, but it is not unattainable.

    Furthermore, it is not the woman's job to pursue the man, but vice versa. In Proverbs 18:22, it says "he whosever finds a wife finds a good thing." So to enter into a relationship where these are not the terms and conditions can be destructive in that it can and will pull you away from what God desires.

    I think it is ridiculous that a black woman who is not really "religious" is giving advice to black women like me to go outside the church to find a man who is not a believer, to relax my standards, and take on an unneccessary burden shows me that you do not have the desire nor the will to wait for someone who will treat you with the respect God requires a man to show his wife. It means you would rather settle for a drunkard who lusts after other women, may even commit adultery against you, because he doesn't have God's standards to keep him.

    Also, for men not to attend church because of the pastor shows me there is no respect for leadership, and thus they are unable to adequately lead their home. Men are supposed to be the heads of their homes, and they are expected to lead as Christ leads the church. But in order for men to be strong enough to do that successfully, they need to be willing to follow someone who is able to teach them how from Scripture as well as experience. But for them to write off the pastor and God altogether shows abandonment to the purpose for which they are called. As to the sports events comment, there are many church events that are focused around people watching the game and fellowshipping with one another. Often times, people get out of church in enough time to make it home, change out of their sunday suits in enough time for kick-off...and even in worst case scenarios, there is TiVo. So for men, there is no excuse.

    Is the black church keeping black women single? No, it is the standards by which they live that is keeping them single. Is it wrong for women to live by these standards? No. It is more beneficial for them to libe with a moral compass than to throw it away altogether. So what is the solution here? There are few "black only" and "white only" churches. There are more integrated churches where men and women attend from different races and ethnicities. To be bound by color is to be bound from the integration that God calls believers to. He calls us to step outside our natural barriers and believe together as people (from every tribe, kindred, and tongue). Romans 10:12 says, " There is no distinction betweeen Jews and Greeks for the same Lord is over all."

    Now as I stated earlier, I amd a black woman, who attends church and interprets Scripture with a literal understanding. But I am not single. I have been married now for nearly 3 months, and I'm only 23. I am married to a Christian man who found me through God in Church. And he is not black by race, but the same Lord is over us both. And I did not have to relax a single standard for him because his standards were equal with my standards. And if this is the case for me, I sure it is for several others. The point to this is to trust God and the rest will take care of itself.

    But as a request, in the future, when you pose a question, answer it. And when you answer it, do so with all points of interest covered and well balanced, instead of leaving the question open-ended and stacked with unbalanced opinions.

    August 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  13. Gary

    black men like sports,drinking chasing big booties, church is just for one hour on Sunday

    August 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • Gary

      Gary, also many black men with decent careers or incomes go for pretty white ladies. I wont specify why C.N.N. will filter me out. I cant help think of aunt easter on Sanford and son when I think of religous loud heavy set black women

      August 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  14. NEON whip

    where are the white people that love the gospel? my ex church was all about that equally yoked bull. horrible memories.

    August 11, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  15. Pianki

    I don't care for organizations like CNN championing and slanting issues as they deal will black African-Americans.

    August 11, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  16. David Johnson

    Hmm...well, I'm not black, a woman or religious. I guess I should not comment on this one. Cheers!

    August 11, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  17. Chalynda VanEckelen

    Hmmmmmm ...okay. Here is what I think.

    I think its a foolish theory. I read this article and listen to the video and feel like this is another tactic to strike against religion, black women and the black church. Church is apart of the black culture and has always been. There is nothing new about it, the statements of why men don't go to church and why women go to church are someone's opinion and not necessarily a fact.

    I chalk this up to the fact that black women with all of the issues we may be accused of having through a stereotype of this white society are a race of women that hold ourselves to a high standard when it comes to men and what we look for in them. When I say this, I am not saying all black women. I will say that although there are some trifling black women there are also MANY black women that know what they want and feel as though they cannot settle for a man who can't add to their lives whether that is financially, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. He can lack in any of these areas which may cause her to say you are not for me. For the woman who believes she wants a man who is as spiritual as her, then so what that is her choice. However, there are many like me who believes that if he isn't, then her spirituality is enough and still love him anyway.

    Black women out of all of the races marry and date a person for love. Again I won't say all but most. We are not raised to catch a man for money or just to get a man and then not work and have a bunch of babies and say F U take care of me or us. We believe in working hard, standing behind him, raising his kids WELL, keeping his home clean, supporting him when he is at his lowest, loving him through it. EVEN when we know its really bad, we stand strong when he can't and we believe and know he will do the same. This is why our mother's were able to make it through with pride and not lose it and set up funds to help her children because of life's hardship. We work from within.

    This theory is BS. Its another strike against black women and our standards and because we hold firm to them they attack what the core of us is.

    So that's what I think of that article. They can stuff it in a place where no one can stand.

    August 11, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Yobachi

      "MANY black women that know what they want and feel as though they cannot settle for a man who can't add to their lives whether that is financially..."

      "Black women out of all of the races marry and date a person for love. Again I won't say all but most. We are not raised to catch a man for money..."

      Bah, ha ha ha ha ha. Contradiction city. Black women don't choose men based on money, come on! You've got to be kidding me. The minority who don't are the jewels to behold.

      August 11, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  18. r-e-s-p-e-c-t

    Those sistas need some educatin'.
    And the bruthas need some, too.
    That would be a start.

    August 11, 2010 at 1:44 am |
  19. peace2all

    I would imagine that it depends on the church and what it teaches and how closely the women follow said teachings. All religions have their own 'values' and rules that are either stated or unstated to be folowed.

    I would like to see empowered women making there own decisions...... Find love.. and go to church if they desire.
    They are not mutually exclusive.

    As for the whole religious thing anyway...... I think overall it is causing more harm than good....

    August 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  20. Doing!

    This article has plenty to snicker at from many different points of view. I did not watch the video, but I would bet there's plenty to snicker at there as well.
    As to the faith aspects of the article I don't know where to start. There are so many to choose from. Thanks for the laugh guys!

    August 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
    • Chalynda VanEckelen


      August 11, 2010 at 10:27 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.