Women to Women

Overview

Through conflict and struggle, sustained by prayer and a zeal for life, African-American women have laid an enduring foundation for the lives of generations of black Americans. In Women to Women, fifteen black scholars, educators, and community leaders uncover the essence of the African-American woman that has made her a pillar both in her own community and in American society at large. Whether you are a professional, a lay leader, a mother, or simply someone who wants to probe the full potential of your culture ...

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Overview

Through conflict and struggle, sustained by prayer and a zeal for life, African-American women have laid an enduring foundation for the lives of generations of black Americans. In Women to Women, fifteen black scholars, educators, and community leaders uncover the essence of the African-American woman that has made her a pillar both in her own community and in American society at large. Whether you are a professional, a lay leader, a mother, or simply someone who wants to probe the full potential of your culture and your womanhood, you will find fresh definition, affirmation, and support plus workable solutions for life's problems and challenges. From singlehood to sisterhood to motherhood, these writers offer practical insights into some of the thorniest issues women face. Women to Women provides seasoned perspectives on topics such as: - How to Deal with "isms" — Racism, Classism, and Sexism - The Biblical Heritage of Black Women - Facing Singlehood as an African-American Woman - Life as a Pastor's Wife - Rearing Christian Children in Today's Society - Sisterhood and Mentorship. Readable, relevant, biblical, and written from the heart, Women to Women helps you surmount the challenges of African-American womanhood to fulfill its rich promise in your own life. This book is a companion to Men to Men, edited by Lee June, Ph.D., and Matthew Parker.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310201458
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 2/1/1996
  • Pages: 262
  • Sales rank: 1,455,460
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Norvella Carter, Ph.D., is director of the Teacher Education Center at Illinois State University in Normal, IL.

Matthew Parker is president of the Institute for Black Family Development in Detroit. He has played editorial roles in the books The Black Family and Men to Men.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Shirley Spencer June

Women of Color in the Bible and Church History

In the veins of Hebrew-Israelite-Judahite-Jewish people flowed African blood. In numerous instances the biblical experience is an African experience. (Copher 1993)

This chapter seeks to examine the roles women of color have played in the Bible and church history. For the most part, the women discussed are (1) African women or women of color in Scripture, or (2) African-American women in church history, including African-American women as nurturers, in the preaching tradition, in missions, and in auxiliary ministries. To do this I give attention to scriptural roles, historical examples, and personal perspectives and encounters. This chapter represents the mere beginnings of my investigation into this massive subject.

WOMEN OF COLOR IN SCRIPTURE

EDEN

The presence and role of women of color in Scripture are part of the overall picture of the African presence throughout the Bible. It has been proposed that the original Eden included mainland Africa to the Tigris/Euphrates valley (Copher 1993; Felder 1989; McKissic & Evans 1994) and that the location of the Garden of Eden was totally or partially situated in what has come to be known as Africa. Of the four rivers named in the biblical account of the Garden, two of these can be associated with regions in Africa (Genesis 2: 13) where Hamitic people were significant early developers of both the Tigris and Euphrates civilizations. One of the rivers, Gihon, encircled the whole land of "Cush/Ethiopia."

Based on the biblical record of human origins geographically (in Africa) and an understanding of genetics, Adam and Eve must have been people of color (Hilliard 1992; McKissic & Evans 1994; Williams 1994). This position is foundational, because people of color seem to be the only human beings who possess all the genetic potential for the range of colors, traits, and variations seen among peoples and individuals in the world today.

PATRIARCHS

Africa has served as a temporary home to most of the famous patriarchs in the Bible, several of whom spent a considerable portion of their lives there. Abraham and his wife Sarah journeyed into Africa during the famine in Canaan. While in Africa they acquired Hagar, an Egyptian woman. Hagar later gave birth, by Abraham, to Ishmael the progenitor of twelve nations. Moses was born and grew up in Egypt. He was adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter and trained in "all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts 7: 22). Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and became an administrator and ruler in Egypt. He married an Egyptian wife, who gave birth to two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Thus, of the twelve tribes of Israel who later possessed the land of Canaan, two of them had partial African ancestry.

Not only the patriots, but the Lord Jesus Christ spent some of His early life in Egypt; Mary and Joseph took refuge there. They sought to escape the threat of death against Jesus by King Herod who governed Judea at that time.

HAMITIC PEOPLE

From the beginning of the biblical period there were interactions with Hamitic peoples. The table of nations in Genesis 10 identifies African nations of Cush/Ethiopia, Mizraim/Egypt, Put(Phut)/Libya, and Punt/ Somaliland. The land God promised to Israel was at that time inhabited by Canaanites, descendants of Ham through his son Canaan. Many African-Americans have grown familiar with scriptural references or songs about the land of Canaan, but have not made the connection with Africa or its peoples. The Protestant canon includes African people and lands from Genesis to Revelation. These events and circumstances place Africa squarely in the center of biblical historical events.

Also, several portions of the Scripture were written in Africa and Africans were acquainted with and used Scriptures prior to the writing of the New Testament. The widespread use of the Bible throughout Africa in ancient and modern times is known (Copher 1993). Copher also concludes the following about the African presence in the Bible:

It is present in the literature of many of the periods of biblical history, and in almost every type of literature. Africa figures as a home and a place of refuge from the time of Abraham through the time of Jesus. Africans, from slaves to rulers, appear as actors on the stage of history. Authors of much of the biblical content were native Africans in origin. And in the veins of Hebrew-Israelite-Judahite-Jewish people flowed African blood. In numerous instances the biblical experience is an African experience.

Walter McCray provides insights and tools to help readers discover for themselves the explicit presence of Black people in Scripture. He presents extensive coverage on the identities of Hamitic and other peoples in his two-volume work The Black Presence in the Bible (McCray 1991). He discusses the Black women named in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ--Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba--people of Hamitic descent.

The study of the African presence in Scripture is needed because of the benign or purposed "bleaching" of biblical persons and nations with the result that people of color appear to be absent or unimportant in God's dealings with people and nations. All people and nations are the subject of the biblical record, because of their common origin. Scripture gives a clear statement of what God has done:

He created all the people of the world from one man, Adam, and scattered the nations across the face of the earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and when. He determined their boundaries. His purpose in all of this is that they should seek after God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him--though He is not far from any one of us. (Acts 17: 26-27)

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Table of Contents

Contents
Preface by Matthew Parker
Introduction by Dr. Norvella Carter
PART 1: Knowing Who I Am
1. Women of Color in the Bible and Church History
Shirley Spencer June
2. The Legacy of the African-American Woman
Nancy Harrison
3. Christian Women Today: Perspectives and Challenges
Carolyn Parks
PART 2: Building Relationships
4. Bridging the Gap: Mentoring the Younger Woman
Sheila R. Staley
5. Seeking a Godly Mate: Questions Single Women Must Ask Themselves
Patricia Richardson
6. The Pastor’s Wife
Michelle Obleton
7. Meeting the Faith Challenge of Rearing Our Sons and Daughters
Deneese L. Jones
PART 3: Living Alone
8. Singleness and the African-American Woman
Jacqueline Tilles
9. When Your Mate Is Absent: Handling Your Emotions
Annie Roberson and Norvella Carter
10. From Marriage to Singleness: Coping with Widowhood
Jean Jackson-Swopes
PART 4: Facing Issues and Managing Resources
11. Balancing Home and Career
Millicent Lindo
12. Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Breaking the Debt Cycle
Lisa Fort
13. Examining Difficult Passages in the Bible: Woman to Woman
Victoria Johnson
14. Dealing with the “Isms”: Racism, Classism, and Sexism
Patricia J. Larke

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First Chapter

Chapter 1
Shirley Spencer June
Women of Color in the Bible and Church History
In the veins of Hebrew-Israelite-Judahite-Jewish people flowed African blood. In numerous instances the biblical experience is an African experience. (Copher 1993)

This chapter seeks to examine the roles women of color have played in the Bible and church history. For the most part, the women discussed are (1) African women or women of color in Scripture, or (2) African-American women in church history, including African-American women as nurturers, in the preaching tradition, in missions, and in auxiliary ministries. To do this I give attention to scriptural roles, historical examples, and personal perspectives and encounters. This chapter represents the mere beginnings of my investigation into this massive subject.
WOMEN OF COLOR IN SCRIPTURE
EDEN
The presence and role of women of color in Scripture are part of the overall picture of the African presence throughout the Bible. It has been proposed that the original Eden included mainland Africa to the Tigris/Euphrates valley (Copher 1993; Felder 1989; McKissic & Evans 1994) and that the location of the Garden of Eden was totally or partially situated in what has come to be known as Africa. Of the four rivers named in the biblical account of the Garden, two of these can be associated with regions in Africa (Genesis 2:13) where Hamitic people were significant early developers of both the Tigris and Euphrates civilizations. One of the rivers, Gihon, encircled the whole land of 'Cush/Ethiopia.'
Based on the biblical record of human origins geographically (in Africa) and an understanding of genetics, Adam and Eve must have been people of color (Hilliard 1992; McKissic & Evans 1994; Williams 1994). This position is foundational, because people of color seem to be the only human beings who possess all the genetic potential for the range of colors, traits, and variations seen among peoples and individuals in the world today.
PATRIARCHS
Africa has served as a temporary home to most of the famous patriarchs in the Bible, several of whom spent a considerable portion of their lives there. Abraham and his wife Sarah journeyed into Africa during the famine in Canaan. While in Africa they acquired Hagar, an Egyptian woman. Hagar later gave birth, by Abraham, to Ishmael the progenitor of twelve nations. Moses was born and grew up in Egypt. He was adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter and trained in 'all the wisdom of the Egyptians' (Acts 7:22). Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and became an administrator and ruler in Egypt. He married an Egyptian wife, who gave birth to two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Thus, of the twelve tribes of Israel who later possessed the land of Canaan, two of them had partial African ancestry.
Not only the patriots, but the Lord Jesus Christ spent some of His early life in Egypt; Mary and Joseph took refuge there. They sought to escape the threat of death against Jesus by King Herod who governed Judea at that time.
HAMITIC PEOPLE
From the beginning of the biblical period there were interactions with Hamitic peoples. The table of nations in Genesis 10 identifies African nations of Cush/Ethiopia, Mizraim/Egypt, Put (Phut)/Libya, and Punt/ Somaliland. The land God promised to Israel was at that time inhabited by Canaanites, descendants of Ham through his son Canaan. Many African-Americans have grown familiar with scriptural references or songs about the land of Canaan, but have not made the connection with Africa or its peoples. The Protestant canon includes African people and lands from Genesis to Revelation. These events and circumstances place Africa squarely in the center of biblical historical events.
Also, several portions of the Scripture were written in Africa and Africans were acquainted with and used Scriptures prior to the writing of the New Testament. The widespread use of the Bible throughout Africa in ancient and modern times is known (Copher 1993). Copher also concludes the following about the African presence in the Bible:
It is present in the literature of many of the periods of biblical history, and in almost every type of literature. Africa figures as a home and a place of refuge from the time of Abraham through the time of Jesus. Africans, from slaves to rulers, appear as actors on the stage of history. Authors of much of the biblical content were native Africans in origin. And in the veins of Hebrew-Israelite-Judahite-Jewish people flowed African blood. In numerous instances the biblical experience is an African experience.
Walter McCray provides insights and tools to help readers discover for themselves the explicit presence of Black people in Scripture. He presents extensive coverage on the identities of Hamitic and other peoples in his two-volume work The Black Presence in the Bible (McCray 1991). He discusses the Black women named in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ---Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba---people of Hamitic descent.
The study of the African presence in Scripture is needed because of the benign or purposed 'bleaching' of biblical persons and nations with the result that people of color appear to be absent or unimportant in God's dealings with people and nations. All people and nations are the subject of the biblical record, because of their common origin. Scripture gives a clear statement of what God has done:
He created all the people of the world from one man, Adam, and scattered the nations across the face of the earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and when. He determined their boundaries. His purpose in all of this is that they should seek after God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him---though He is not far from any one of us. (Acts 17:26--27)

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