What is difference between Black Congregations and White Congregations

by Pitchess Co-Gen 72 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Pitchess Co-Gen
    Pitchess Co-Gen

    I'm from South Los Angeles and been to Black congregations all my life, but I moved 70-75 miles north from where I grew up. I just want to know the difference .

  • brotherdan

    When I was in New York, my congregation was mostly black (I am white). They seemed to be tighter and more friendly. They were always having get togethers and seemed to have a greater bond with each other. I didn't see a lot of the judgmental-ness that I saw in congregations that were largely white.

    Of course, that is all subjective. I'm sure there are congregations that exist that are the opposite.

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    Like BD said its all subjective.

    One thing Confession and I always talked about black congo's can be a lil loser on the whole DF'd thing. Once again this is subjective.

  • Broken Promises
    Broken Promises

    black congo's can be a lil loser on the whole DF'd thing

    I think you mean "looser", not "loser", lol.

  • undercover

    Even though the congregations were slow to integrate (it was reactionary, not proactive action) I have to say that, for the most part, most JWs are pretty much color blind. There may be some cultural differences in how we grew up, but with the common interest of being a JW, it did help push those differences and sometime prejudices to the background.

    For all that's wrong with JWs and the WTS, this is one area I've never seen a major problem.

  • leavingwt

    IMHO, the black congregations were much more warm and friendly.

    I attended a congregation in Harlem for six+ years. For more than three of those years, I was the only white person. I loved it.

  • serenitynow!

    I'm not sure about that UC. I know that if one of my cousins were to bring home a white sister, the sh** would hit the fan!

  • punkofnice

    USA? No good asking me. I'm from the UK. Most of our congregations are mixed race.

    Perhaps one positive thing the Borg has done!

    Having said that..................................I never used to see mixed race marriages in the washTowel or Asleep! Illustrations. No surprise, the Borg tried to take sides with Hitler in WW2!!!

  • darth frosty
    darth frosty

    Serenitynow!: I know that if one of my cousins were to bring home a white sister, the sh** would hit the fan!

    Thats universal black woman response not religous ;-)

  • serenitynow!
    Thats universal black woman response not religous ;-)

    Haha! Yeah, you're right!

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I am white but was raised in a congregation where almost everyone was black and poor. We lived in an exclusively white area. During the 50s and 60s, racism associated poverty with being African-American. There were very few professional black role models. I wanted the niceness of my realtives upscale (relatively) congregations. My father was racist but he made an exception for black Witnesses. Strangely, his racism did not move us to a whiter congregation.

    We were the outsiders which was very uncomfortable. When black brothers and sisters visited us, the neighbors immediately called to ask if we were selling our house to them. Such conduct now is unthinkable to me. Because of the KH exposure, I was far, far more comfortable with black folk than my classmates at school. I became very interested in the civil rights movement.

    Coping with the poverty was hard for me. If I had to attend a meeting in the housing project, I was terrified. Strangely, my classmates in the projects saw my family coming and going. When the racial riots happened at school, I had extra defense. The brothers were functionally illiterate. Perhaps two or three had true reading skills. It caused a crisis b/c when I discovered them misreading the WT in fifth grade, I felt I was sinning against the HOly Spirit and would perish. We were working poor but seemed rich in comparison.

    Our whole geographical area was black so the district and circuit assemblies were mostly black. True integration needed more than residence. I was shocked, utterly shock to find out that in the South, congregations were segregation. The Society said it was in deference to the customs of the area as though such stigma and unJesus like conduct could be dismissed so readily. No one I know left when they discovered this fact.

    Much of who I am was shaped by being the outcast white minority. People told me I had soul and was not white. Yet when I peered into the mirror, I certainly saw white. Frankly, I loved attending white congregations. More people could read, the discussions were better. I am relating what I knew as a child and young teenager. The systemic tie between race and poverty was not clear. I thought anyone could achieve with error.

    There was keen racial tension at school. I was attacked many times for being white. White teachers would clearly see the incidents and ignored them. Poverty upsets me no end. Throughout my life, I fear it much more readily than middle class Americans. I fear I will descend. The Witnesses themselves were decent people. It would have nice to have been invited to a dinner, party or some celebration that occurred. Of course, my family did not start the ball going.

    So most of what I experienced would have been far worse in West Virginia with mountaineers.

  • snowbird


    I've never witnessed hardcore shunning in Black families.


  • TMS
  • snowbird

    I remember that, TMS!



  • NewChapter

    I was shocked, utterly shock to find out that in the South, congregations were segregation. The Society said it was in deference to the customs of the

    area as though such stigma and unJesus like conduct could be dismissed so readily. No one I know left when they discovered this fact.

    A black circuit overseer used to tell me stories about serving in the south during the civil rights movement. He said that the Society even segregated his work--which means, black congregations got black co's and white congregations got white. He said they needed double the co's. But what disturbed me was that here was this northern black man, in a tie, with a briefcase (book bag) knocking on doors. He immediately stirred up suspicion from the racist locals that he was "a northerner mixing up trouble" and working for the civil rights movement.

    At the time, he told how he was able to clarify his message, and in the process, teach some white southerners about the bible. That sounded great. But the more I think, (since I can now think) I realize how UNLOVING the society was to put this man and his wife in such danger. Who was supposed to back him up? Disempowered black brothers? I mean, would it have not been safer to have mixed with the white brothers, who had the power, than to leave this CO to fend for himself?

    I don't know if any of that just made sense. But I'm saying they put him in harm's way. And he had to fend for himself. He was a great guy too. I feel sad that he sacrificed so much for nothing.

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  • QuestioningEverything

    The congregation I went to was predominately black. We were one of two white families and there was a Mexican family also. I LOVED that congregation. I had great friends there. Most were friendly, down to earth and kind. We went to the hall with the same people for over 15 years.

    When the society decided to change the boundaries of the city, we were moved to a new hall. It was mostly white with a few blacks and again, one mexican family. I HATED that hall. The people were cliqueish and cold. I didn't last too long there. I really did give it a try but it was not the same.

  • blondie

    In this area, congregations are fairly mixed. There have been local needs talks over the years even up until today about prejudice of lighter black jws towards darker black jws....usually given by a darker black elder. I am not black and was oblivious to any underlying prejudice in this area but some of the sisters mentioned they had been "victims" of it.

    It always seemed strange to me that the tanner a white person got, the more status they had because it supposedly indicated they had money and a flexible schedule to visit island vacation areas.

    I don't think congregations are segregated any longer in the southern US since that has been against the law for almost 50 years. But as to mental prejudices, they persist everywhere

  • serenitynow!

    Yeah Blondie the "lighter vs darker" thing has been going on since slavery times. I didn't realize it was still such an issue that the congregation would have to do local needs on it though.

  • blondie

    Probably a pet peeve of this elder or there is a problem.

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