Hey there, I’m Ahmad Greene-Hayes. I’m a lover of words and ideas. I'm currently based in Harlem.
Thank you for stopping by my website!
Here's a little bit about who I am:
I am a Hurstonian scholar of Black religion (#ZoraNealeTaughtMe), currently working towards my PhD in Religion from Princeton University, where I am also pursuing graduate certificates in African American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. My research interests include 19th and 20th century Africana and African American religious histories, American religious history, Southern Black Religions, Black Pentecostalism, Holiness Movements, and Black Queer Studies.
I currently hold the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, and the Princeton Dean's and President's Fellowships.
I have previously held the Princeton Program in American Studies Pre-dissertation grant (2016-2017), the Yale LGBT Research Fellowship (2017-2018), and I am currently a Religion and Public Life Fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton, for my dissertation project on "negro cults" and new African American religious movements in the American and Global South between 1890-1940.
Alongside my work in the academy, I am a Just Beginnings Collaborative Cohort Member, in which I work with Black churches to end child sexual abuse using anti-rape sermon workshops, public townhalls, and curriculum development, through my organization, Children of Combahee.
I am also the creator of #BlackChurchSex on Twitter, a progressive digital conversation on gender and sexuality in the contemporary life of the Black church, and I helped plan the #BlackChurchSex convening, "Love Thyself: Black Bodies and Religious Space," co-sponsored by Princeton Theological Seminary's Office of Black Church Studies and Columbia University's Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice.
As an essayist, my public commentary on issues of race, gender, sexuality, black politics and religion have appeared in Ebony, The Root, The Feminist Wire, the Huffington Post, and News One, among many other outlets.
As you can probably tell by now, I love thinking, researching, digging in archives, writing, and talking. But when I'm not busy working, you can find me cooking in my kitchen, out and about with friends, working out in the gym, on an adventure in Harlem, or traveling our beautiful world.
If you're interested in my work, please consider inviting me to speak at your university, church, or community event. I've been blessed to speak at the Apollo Theater, Princeton Theological Seminary, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York University, Rutgers, the University of Arizona, Middle Collegiate Church, Children's Defense Fund, Boston University School of Theology, Columbia University, and the Department of Justice.
Contact me below.
AN OPEN LETTER TO PASTOR KIM BURRELL: SAVE YOUR APOLOGY
Dear Pastor Kim Burell,
I write to you as a fellow Christian (though I like to think of myself simply as a "follower of Jesus"), a historian of Africana and African American religions, and a church boy in recovery. Regarding the latter, I meet weekly with a therapist and am writing my way to freedom, as a result.
I am product of the Black church, and I am both proud and, at times, ashamed of this legacy. I come from a family of Black preaching men and healing women (though many of the women were preachers, too, but denied ordination), prophets and herbalists, non-academic theologians and religious philosophers, and working class church folks who used Sunday School and Bible Study as a space to nurture intellectual curiosity.
EDDIE LONG AND THE BLACK CHURCH'S LEGACY OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
Long was accused of sexually abusing four young men--Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrance, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson, who were teenagers at the time of their accusations [...]
Yet Long's members stood behind him. Although the New Birth Christian Academy closed down, the church doors remained open. Congregants heard these children’s horrifying allegations of sexual abuse and many remained faithful to Long, even as he preached messages condoning homophobia, the subjugation of women and rape culture. In fact, after news of the child sexual abuse allegations surfaced, Long used the Bible to victim-blame and deny all charges in a sermon to his megachurch followers: “I’ve been accused. I’m under attack. As I said earlier, I am not a perfect man. But this thing, I’m gonna fight. . . . I feel like David against Goliath. But I’ve got five rocks and I haven’t thrown one yet.”
#pulseshooting: a homegoing for our (queer) dead
Last week I attended a church member’s funeral. Hues of black and brown formed a beautiful palette as the saints marched in their white-and-black vestments. White for the sacredness of the one to whom the service was dedicated, and black for their anguish. The preacher read Scriptures as the family processioned into the church. This was no ordinary funeral; it was a homegoing—or a celebration of life, a passing from this plane to the next, from labor to reward.
There will be many more funerals in the coming days. On Sunday, June 12, news surfaced that 49 were killed and 53 injured by Omar Mateen at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Fueled by toxic masculinity, homophobia and terroristic fervor, Mateen used a semi-automatic rifle and a 9 mm handgun to afflict the bodies of Latinx, black and Afro-Latinx LGBTQ individuals, their families and their friends.