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A Conversation with Candice Marie Benbow About Her New Book, ‘Red Lip Theology’ – Black Girl Nerds


A Conversation with Candice Marie Benbow About Her New Book, ‘Red Lip Theology’ – Black Girl Nerds

Candice Marie Benbow situates her work at the intersections of beauty, faith, feminism, and culture, giving voice to Black women’s shared experiences of healing and journeying toward wholeness. A theologian and educator, she never minces words. This is why we love her.

In her first book, Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough, Benbow is funny and deeply personal. She’s so real that as I read, I felt exposed. The essays speak to loss, forgiveness, heartache, and sexuality. It’s a love letter to Black women that I could not put down.

BGN had the pleasure of speaking with Benbow via telephone to discuss the importance of her book, feminism as it relates to Black women, and what it means to be fully loved by God.

First, congratulations on Red Lip Theology. Recently, you posted on Instagram that you prayed Black women would “really get” this book, and that you wrote it for us. Why was this book so important for you to put out in the world?

One of the things I was always frustrated about was that there were a lot of faith conversations taking place, but Black women were not at the forefront of those conversations. Then, there are some conversations that Black women are at the forefront of, but it’s a specific kind of Black woman. She may be much more conservative and traditional in her theology. There are sisters who love God, who are deeply faithful but have a different articulation of faith. We deserve equal opportunity to have conversations that are grounded holistically. I wanted to be a part of that movement. I wanted to be a part of what it means for Black women to think differently about faith. I wanted to be a part of what it looks like for us to be talking.

My prayer was that Black women would get it because I wrote it with the abiding love that I have for sisters to be at the center of their own faith conversations — to be hallowed in that and honor what it means to trust the voice of yourself, when you’re making faith decisions and don’t always have to lean on…

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