Red Lip Theology a Reckoning for the Spiritual Millenial Feminist Black Woman
I discovered Candice Benbow in December 2017 orating a powerful message titled, “My Lemonade Has Vodka In It”, this message stirred my spirit as Candice discussed her journey of healing, wholeness, and trusting God through the darkness, a place I found myself during that time. Candice’s fervor for Black womanhood, feminism, and faith are what make her the raw spiritual homegirl this generation needs.
In her debut novel, Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough, a prolific collection of essays dissecting and critiquing the implications and the redemption of a Black woman’s intimate journey through the intersection of feminism, faith, and authenticity. Candice has so eloquently written the experience of so many millennial Black girls who desired to love Jesus and themselves authentically. As a Black woman who grew up in church, this book is something I wish existed when I was growing up. I wrestled greatly with not fitting into the “Good Christian Girl” box because what do you do when you love God but also desire to show up as your full self. Candice’s words resonated with me deeply, “But, no matter what condition I find myself in at any given moment, I know I am fully loved by God. My faith is grounded in the teachings of Jesus, the wisdom of the ancestors, and the power of Black womanhood. Each has saved my life over and over again”.
It’s been long overdue for the critical lens Candice brings to the forefront in Red Lip Theology about the implications of the Black church on Black girls and women’s existence. There are nuances to the plight of Black women and our relationship to spirituality because as Benbow stated: “Black people have always been a spiritual people, but nobody is more spiritual than Black women. To love God and the Spirit is the legacy of Black women."
The full compilation is truth-telling in its rawest form; however, I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight my favorite chapters: God Made Me Black, We Should All Be Womanists, Survived By a Special Friend, and Black Lace Teddies and Other Pieces I Rock Under the Anointing.
If you're a Black woman practicing faith, honoring your inner gangsta this book is for you. If you're a Black woman who believes in unpacking the nuances of faith and feminism this book is for you. If you are a Black woman ready to have a reckoning about your personal spiritual journey this book is for you. Candice's sheer audaciousness, authenticity, and vulnerability within each chapter will impact any Black girl or woman who loves God ferociously and desires to walk in her truth unapologetically.
Be sure to pre-order Candice's debut novel scheduled to release January 18, 2022, by clicking the image, rocking your red lip, and connecting with Candice Benbow on Instagram and Twitter @candicebenbow!
In Writing Black Girl Solidarity!