I AM THE BREATH-FILLED SPACE, THE LIGHT-FILLED HAND, THE LOVE-FILLED HEART, THE JOY-FILLED DANCE.
PRAYERS CALL TO ME, AND I ANOINT BELIEVERS WITH THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR AND THE MIRACLES OF THINGS UNSEEN.
WHEN EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR GOD, AS SOMETHING MORE EXTRAORDINARY THAN THEMSELVES, THEY WILL MISS ME —
EVEN THOUGH I AM HERE.”
God is a Brown Girl Too is taken from what I call Brown Girl-ology, my “credo to reclaim the divine” that Spirit gave me in 2006. It is part of the theological premise of the celebration of the divine within not only African American women (thus, it is not womanist theology), but is the daughter of the womanist movement — celebrating the divine within sisters of color worldwide. It was the impetus for the formation of Spiritmuv, a church of which I am not the founder — but the co-creator. I believe that only God is the founder of the true church.
Brown Girl-ology is the triumphant voice of a walk and talk with God, which sounds from the beginning of time when we were first expressed as the children of God: God as Creator, God as Mother, God as Father, God as Spirit. As the mother of all civilization, this voice sounds from its roots in Africa, across the many oceans and through the many continents where Africa’s children were born and raised and then, through historical genocide and cultural mutilation, forgot both their spiritual ancestry.
This voice emanates from daughters and sons who were disenfranchised, dispossessed and disconnected from the breath of God, even though it flows through their very veins – closer to them than their hands and feet. This voice lifts from the Spirit and Truth that we are a reflection of God – no matter who we are and where we believe our roots lie.
God is everywhere and always present. Brown Girl-ology is the presence of God reflected back as Herself in the soul of the deep dark brown, the red clay copper, the caramel peanut butter, the honey lemon crème, the chocolate earth berry daughters of God, who have been all but destroyed by the relentless force of evil.
Brown Girl-ology is a consciousness of God that is far greater than the weakness of the demonic forces that attempt to destroy Brown Girls and others who have been marginalized through the near eradication of their existence, the demoralization of their virtue, and the cannibalization of their Spirit – through murder, rape, lynching, enslavement, beating, molestation, mutilation, terrorization, and ironically the demon-ization of their stature as the image and likeness of God.
Brown Girl-ology is the Brown Girl’s answer to the call to be the fullness and completeness of all that her Mother-Father-God Is.
The Brown Girl represents the daughter of all beginnings – mother and sister to us all – always pure, always graceful, always dynamic, always blessed. She is the prophetic imagination lifted from the dust of dreams deferred – culminating in divine love awakening. Nameless, she rose before time, calling a mixture of day and night and moon and sun all good: before Hagar was raped; before her daughter birthed Jesus; before the Romans fed her to the lions; before she traveled the Middle Passage; before she was paraded naked in a cage and soaked in a jar labeled Hottentot Venus; before she worked in America’s fields and nursed her babies and cleaned communal filth; before she led her people to freedom; before she refused to go to the back of the bus; before she marched through angry mobs to integrate schools; before she was blown up in a church in Alabama; before she was shamed at the Super Bowl for baring a single breast, voiceless and faceless again – she found herself lost in that gap of time between now and always – an invisible Brown Girl, in whose nothing-ness, she is everything.
In 1997, when I was recuperating from surgery, I began to write a collection of poetry called “Plain Brown Girl,” thinking not only about myself but about all black women, asking who is there to tend our wounds and comfort us when we are healing. The Brown Girl spoke through me through centuries, reminding me of that she is the face of God. She expressed herself as a Brown Girl partly because of the limitations of the use of the word “black” to embrace people who are not only the most beautiful deepest, darkest brown but are other endless shades of beautiful brown. Brown also embraces cultures that do not fall under the “black” rubric – many Asians, Hispanics and Latinos and Native Americans whose darker color is indigenous to their land but no different than all of the darker sisters who populate this world and have been marginalized and condemned as always less than. Who is God and what does She look like, if not us?
Brown Girl-ology, as the daughter of womanist theology, bears witness to a new story: one that dares to fashion a God from a past that was before history; one that is courageous enough to create her own myths; one that is inventive enough to question the founding fathers of a faith that is largely prejudiced and racist and sexist; one that is daring enough to remember God as Mother, as well as Father; one that is prophetic enough to celebrate Spirit as herself rather than as a God that does not embrace her image and likeness.
© Copyrighted 2009 by Cecilia Loving, taken from God is a Brown Girl Too®