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Love, Auntie

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Love, Auntie

by Shantell Hinton Hill

You are welcome here anytime.

Where can we go when the world refuses to see us in our fullness? When culture reduces us to categories and stereotypes, and even our churches make us feel like we don’t fit in? If we’re blessed to have an Auntie—someone who, like Jesus, welcomes us wholly and calls us beloved—then we have glimpsed the liberation and divine affirmation of sacred belonging.

Time and again, Aunties have offered a model for undoing, becoming, and embracing our identities and deepest beliefs. Auntie culture, particularly in Black spaces, is immediately recognizable as an embodied experience where nieces, nephews, and “niblings” feel safe, heard, and seen. Aunties, whether biological or simply beloved kin, welcome us in.

In Love, Auntie, Shantell Hinton Hill, aka Reverend Auntie, offers tender testimonies to a flock of loved ones who have been led to believe they do not belong. Through modern-day parables, prayers, and prompts for reflection, she invites readers to sit alongside the wisdom-bearing of Black women, lovingly known as Aunties, as they carve out space for doubts, questions, and spiritual expression that honors intersecting identities of race, gender, and class. Because trust and believe, Aunties always know how to turn mess into miracles.
 

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Foreword
Preface
From My Front Porch: An Invitation to Sacred Belonging & a Word about Auntie(s)
 
Sacred Belonging Commitment #1: Truth-Telling Is Spiritual Discernment
1. To My Too Growns (People Who Have Sage Wisdom & Smart Mouths)
2. To My Hardheads (People Who Typically Learn the Hard Way)
3. To My Holy Rollers (People Struggling with Unhealthy Theological Ties)
4. To My Nephews (All Boys & Men)
Porch Talk: “Call a Thing a Thing” & Other Lessons from Radical Subjectivity
 
Sacred Belonging Commitment #2: Tribe Is Sanctuary
5. To My Babies & Fools (People Who Don’t Know No Better)
6. To My Beloveds (People Who Show Us a Better Way to Do Faith & Community)
7. To My Blessed Hearts (People Who Have Been Harmed or Just Do Stupid Stuff)
8. To My Seasoned Saints (People Ranging from Gen X to Boomers & Beyond)
Porch Talk: “We All We Got” & Other Lessons from Traditional Communalism
 
Sacred Belonging Commitment #3: Tears Are Salvific Work
9. To My Sugas (People Who Are Fragile & Flamboyant, Awkward & Awesome—aka Neurodivergents)
10. To My Niblings (Transgender, Non-Binary & Gender-Fluid People)
11. To My Love-Makers (People, Typically Women, Who Are Stereotyped as Promiscuous but Are Truly Just Self-Possessed)
12. To My Brave & Brazens (Generational Curse & Toxic Relationship Breakers)
Porch Talk: “I Found God in Me” & Other Lessons from Redemptive Self-Love
 
Sacred Belonging Commitment #4: Transfiguration Is Social Healing
13. To My Daughters & Deacons (People Who Pretend to Be, or Are Actually, Churchy)
14. To My Nieces (All Girls & Women)
15. To My Loud Cologne-Wearers (People Who Are Recovering Misogynists) 
16. To My Whippers & Snappers (People Ranging from Gen Z to Millennials)
Porch Talk: “Make It Make Sense” & Other Lessons on Critical Engagement
 

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