Hannah D. Spivey announced on Facebook that her memoir and self-help guide of her life living as a Hebrew Israelite, would be free on Amazon for a limited time. Of course, being an avid reader took advantage of the gift and downloaded it into my kindle. One rainy Friday night after a long day of battling mental health, I sat down on the couch with a mug of delicious white wine, opened my kindle and saw Hannah’s beautiful but no nonsense face staring back at me with a manicured middle finger up to the world. “Fuck Misogyny” in graffiti art on a brick wall behind her that looked to be an apartment complex in the hood. The cover was brilliant and it said aloud what basically every sane black women who didn’t drink the koolaid thought of the Hebrew Israelite religion.
I remember first seeing Hebrew Israelite men at the age of 19 standing on street corners, bitching and screaming about how black women didn’t know their place, how the white man didn’t want the black man to succeed and waving a bible in the air. That particular day, I was standing at the bus depot, waiting on the bus that went straight to the mall, when I noticed the group of idiots, wearing all black, covered from the neck down in one hundred degree heat. They had on black jeans, black turtle necks or long sleeved crew necked shirts, and black boots. The had on what looked like metal knee and elbow pads and a fake ass metal breast plate, with hot ass hats on their heads that had metal ear flaps attached. One dumb ass was waving a thick bible in the air screaming about slaves, women submitting to men, while the other was passing out flyers.
Me being curious, I took a flyer from one of the fools and in broad letters it stated Hebrew Israelite across the top and “Come Worship with Us” in smaller letters below it. The young man who handed me the flyer didn’t look no more than a year older than me or possibly the same age. He looked me up and down slowly, taking in my skimpy tank top, short stone washed jean shorts, and strappy sandals. “Women are to be covered” he said and mouthed off some bible scriptures while pointing to the flyer. I laughed in his face, told him to kiss my ass and went to go catch my bus. Nowadays in the world of technology, where anyone can create a website for any particular belief or create a Facebook group, make it private and spew all sorts of bullshit, the Hebrew Israelite community has been making a lot of noise. So when Hannah introduced her memoir that she wrote describing her life living as a Hebrew Israelite in her father’s house, and also being in a relationship with one, living in their church, it piqued my interest.
The book hit home for me. Constant religious abuse of children and the level of hypocrisy in the Hebrew Israelite community revealed was shocking. Hannah paints a vivid picture of emotional abuse, physical abuse and the miserable road she had to travel in order to see her value as a human being and a woman. Hannah confronts her former Hebrew Israelite lover who took her through hell and back, shames the Hebrew Israelite women who turned a blind eye, and says to her father everything she did not have to strength to say in her younger years. Hannah exposes the church who hid her lover’s drug addiction, did not even attempt to hold the brother accountable when he stole from her and abused her. The book hit home. The very thing Hannah went through with her father as a child and her younger years, I went through with my mother as an adult. The only difference is my mother is Christian, goes to a church who forbids the women of marrying outside the church and the marriages are arranged.
Still to this day my mother texts me bible scriptures and claim that bad things happen to me because I don’t go to HER CHURCH. I may not live in her home but religious abuse is religious abuse no matter how you dress it up.
Hannah provides a self help guide to women who are caught up in the Hebrew Israelite lifestyle and think they have no way out. She also gives clues and signs of misogynistic red flags, and how to tell if he is Hebrew Israelite. Plain and simple, don’t fuck with them. The game is to be sold and never told, however Hannah gave the game away for free because it just might save a life.