“Black women have an inordinate amount of faith in both Black men and Black churches…. Single Black women sitting in church every Sunday are being subtley brainwashed …”

— from “How Black Churches Keep African American Women Single and Lonely”

With those strong words, relationship expert Deborrah Cooper set off an explosive discussion in the Christian community that is still resonating three months later. Indeed, if it’s possible for an article to be considered legendary after only three months, Cooper’s indictment of Black men, Black churches, and the Black women who put their faith in them is certainly it. After the article posted, Cooper was featured on The Tom Joyner Morning Show, CNN, and in thousands of debates among Christian women and men across the nation.

UrbanFaith’s Chandra White-Cummings responded to Cooper’s commentary soon after its original publication, and Cooper even visited our site to respond to Chandra’s response. The nerve Cooper struck is one we’ll be analyzing for a long time, especially in light of recent studies that suggest it’s increasingly difficult for successful Black women to find a compatible man.

With all this in mind, UrbanFaith called together three of its own successful single women — writers Chanel Graham, Chandra White-Cummings, and Nicole Symmonds (see photos above) — to discuss Cooper’s controversial article and the important issues it raises for women, men, and the church. Check out their lively chat in the 30-minute podcast below, followed by eight shorter outtakes from their wide-ranging conversation. (You can also download the podcasts for free at our iTunes channel.) And after you listen, leave your own comments below. We have a feeling you’ll have a lot to add to the discussion.

Podcast: Are Black Churches Bad News for Single Women? (30 min.)

Podcast Additional Segments:


  • Pepper says:

    TO some extent I agree with the article that black churches are keeping black women single. We have so many rules some made up and some from the Word of God that “must” be followed or there could be repercussions (ex: don’t allow a man to call you after a certain hour bc that would make you look like a hoe, don’t be the first to make a move, allow the man to come to you, the man has to have a job first in order for you to talk to him, etc…). But then there are so many men (especially black men) who are intimidated by the educated black woman even the women who make it a point to not lord it (education, status, money) over them. And some men do beleive they have to be perfect before they talk to the single black church woman so in that instance I do believe both men and women are being brainwashed.
    Some of my caucasian friends (and those of color who attend a predominately white church) whom I’ve talked to are bewildered. They ask, why is it that at my church there are rows of families (husband, wife, and kids) and at predominately black churches there are mostly single (unmarried) people. Beats me…I used to say.
    But now I see that most black women look at their pastors as if they are perfect and say that they want a man just like him.
    What single women need to do is stay prayerful, go out to events and meet people, stop giving men the stinky face if he tries to talk to you (especially if he comes at you in a respectful way) and just learn how to befriend someone without always going down their “list” to see if he is even good enough to be in your presence. (SPEAKING FROM EXPEREINCE) I know I could’ve been married already.
    Honestly, a black woman getting married to a good, (black) God-fearing man would almost be equivalent to a youth making it to the NBA or the NFL…there are alot of hopefuls but only a few make it in…

  • Glad to see you are on the same page as Deb. I invite you to set up an interview with her to discuss her latest work, a book which expands the article mentioned above. THE BLACK CHURCH – WHERE WOMEN PRAY AND MEN PREY is a no holds barred expose of the charlatans posing as religious leaders that black women trust and follow without question. These guys are no earthly good, yet black women give them time, money, their bodies, and trust them even with their children who often end up sexually abused. The book is going to be difficult for some women to stomach because they don’t really want to hear truth – they prefer a pretty lie. But Ms. Cooper gets to the core of the matter in her usual fearless fashion.

    Your panel idea was great, but you really should have had Ms. Cooper be a part of the program for it to have any validity. Talking about someone’s work without having them around to explain misconceptions and to dismiss assumptions made by your panel presented a very one-sided view of the author.

    I’ve read her new book and have to tell you that what the ladies say in this podcast is way off base. I think a discussion with the women listed above AND the author would be dynamic!!!

  • Frank Kennedy says:

    Hi guys. I am a single black man of 32 years mixed with puertorican. I am wondering if there’s any good black single woman out there who aint all about drama. I lives all alone in my own home, got 3 cars and the best paid job ever but loneliness is killing me. Just email me on fken550 for yahoo dot com if you wanna know me more. Your age, state and city of residence must be included.

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