Black Women, Black Love

A Conversation on Marriage, Religion, and Black Families

April 29, 2021
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Online Zoom Webinar

Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report on Black families triggered national debates on the “crisis” within African American family life. The report was aimed to understand the low rates of marriage in Black communities. Part of the problem, the report suggested, stemmed from “domineering” Black women, high unemployment, Black male pathology, etc. Dianne Stewart, associate professor of religion and African American studies at Emory University, refutes that argument. She argues that Black women are single by circumstance and points to intentional efforts by the U.S. government to prevent Black marriages from occurring.

In Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage (2020), Stewart calls the dilemma surrounding Black love a civil rights issue. She traces four centuries of laws, policies, and customs in America that have undermined Black marriages for generations, including racial enslavement, government welfare programs, and mass incarceration. This panel of Black women scholars and practitioners discussed how religion and political movement can help change this dilemma. Terrence Johnson, associate professor of religion and politics and a senior research fellow at the Berkley Center, moderated.

This event was co-sponsored by the African American Studies Department and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.

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