Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough
A moving essay collection promoting freedom, self-love, and divine wholeness for Black women and opening new levels of understanding and ideological transformation for non-Black women and allies.
“Candice Marie Benbow is a once-in-a-generation theologian, the kind who, having ground dogma into dust with the fine point of a stiletto, leads us into the wide-open spaces of faith.”–Brittney Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage and co-editor of The Crunk Feminist Collection
Blurring the boundaries of righteous and irreverent, Red Lip Theology invites us to discover freedom in a progressive Christian faith that incorporates activism, feminism, and radical authenticity. Essayist and theologian Candice Marie Benbow’s essays explore universal themes like heartache, loss, forgiveness, and sexuality, and she unflinchingly empowers women who struggle with feeling loved and nurtured by church culture.
Benbow writes powerfully about experiences at the heart of her Black womanhood. In honoring her single mother’s love and triumphs–and mourning her unexpected passing–she finds herself forced to shed restrictions she’d been taught to place on her faith practice. And by embracing alternative spirituality and womanist theology, and confronting staid attitudes on body positivity and LGBTQ+ rights, Benbow challenges religious institutions, faith leaders, and communities to reimagine how faith can be a tool of liberation and transformation for women and girls.
Candice Marie Benbow is a theologian, essayist, columnist, baker, and educator whose work gives voice to Black women’s shared experiences of faith, healing, and wholeness. Named by Sojourners as one of “10 Christian Women Shaping the Church in 2020,” she has written for Essence, Glamour, The Root, VICE, Shondaland, Madame Noire, and the Me Too Movement. Candice created the “Lemonade Syllabus” social media campaign, founded the media boutique Zion Hill Media Group, and, in memory of her mother, established The LouiseMarie Foundation to support HBCU nursing students and community mental health projects. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Candice holds degrees from Tennessee State University, North Carolina Central University, and Duke Divinity School.
Melissa Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair in the department of politics and international affairs and the department of women, gender, and sexuality studies at Wake Forest University.
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