As far back as I can remember, there was always a God-fearing, Bible-professing black woman in my midst. A woman who prayed for provision when resources were scarce, touched your forehead to declare healing over your body, bowed down in submissive repentance before her Maker and saw potential in others that no one else seemed to see. A black woman who believed so strongly in God that her faith shamed you out of your own disbelief.

Many of the women in my life were single mothers. Some had lost their husbands to illness or had never been married. But there were many who had chased their men out of the house for being abusers, drunks, cheaters or “good for nothings.” No matter who was or wasn’t lying beside them at night, God’s footprints were firmly rooted in the foundation of their homes.

Reading The Washington Post’s recent article on the importance of faith in black women’s lives, I connected with the stories of women whose spiritual journey seemed to mirror my own. They confirmed what my worldview illustrates: Black women are some of the most religious folks you’ll meet in America.
The Post article found that many black women feel connected to their ancestors who endured the brutality of slavery by transcending the natural world through a belief in a supernatural one. Similarly, as an Eritrean American woman, I feel spiritually connected to the Eritrean men and women who died fighting a 30-year war for my homeland’s independence.
But we aren’t limited to the history books as we go in search of a connection to “the saints.”
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