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Old 04-19-2012, 01:03 PM
 
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I just joined- but WOW- I had no idea that a church had to be black?
I can understand looking for the hair place that understands the black hair texture....
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:12 AM
 
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Drop the race thing or you won't fit into that area at all. Nobody cares about the color of your skin up there. It's a college town full of students and liberal professors. Now if you're talking about OUTSIDE of state college, then yeh, you've gotta worry about race.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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Centre county doesn't have a ton of ethnic diversity except that there is literally a ton of diversity associated with Penn State. If she gets involved as a State College community member with activities associated with the university, she can meet plenty of people. You did say she's a young professional. As a young professional you can definitely fit in with older students such as grad students.

I'm sure by now she's tried out some of the churches you mentioned.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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I am an African American female and I relocated to State College for a job. I've been here for nearly a year. As far as black hair salons, you will be pretty much limited to the salons previously mentioned which are S'Hair-Eng Hair Salon in State College, PA and Darchelle Marie's Hair Studio in Lemont, PA.

A black beauty supply store called Kim's Hair Care has just opened in State College. Although the store is very small and the selection is comparatively limited, it's still a great place to find hair care products, extensions, and accessories that are not available at other local stores. The owner is very helpful and if she doesn't have an item in stock, she will be more than happy to order it. She also has close connections with a campus group called Beauty By Design. Amongst other things this group provides workshops about black hair care and makeup. They also have a database of (mostly unlicensed) black barbers and beauticians. Keep in mind that this is a student organization and most of their events are on campus. They are also gone for breaks and during the summer.

As far as churches are concerned, Unity Church is the go-to church for people seeking a black church. It is a family church and the pastor is extremely warm and welcoming. With that being said I'd like to emphasize something that was mentioned in an earlier response. Because this is a college community, racial categorizations are not used at all. As an adult, you are either an undergrad, a grad student, a professional, or a retiree (or an inmate...joking, but not really). If your friend is relocating to State College as a business professional I would highly encourage her to find a church that is filled with young professionals. Calvary Baptist Church is great and has a ministry called ThirdPlace. Groups of (mostly single) 30-something's gather in different locations for Bible studies, service projects, beach trips, cookouts, dance lessons, movie nights, etc. You will quickly find that skin color does not guarantee any commonality other than skin color. Oh and here's another curve ball, if your relative is here for any length of time it's highly likely that she will date someone outside of her race.

As far as activities and hotspots, well, those all depend on your personal preference. Ask the business crowd about classy venues (jazz spots, wine tastings, etc.) and talk to the college crowd about clubs, parties and the like.

I didn't intend on being so verbose, but I'm sure some new State College transplant will stumble across this post so I wanted to add my two-cents.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:39 PM
 
52 posts, read 102,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psusra112 View Post
Drop the race thing or you won't fit into that area at all. Nobody cares about the color of your skin up there. It's a college town full of students and liberal professors. Now if you're talking about OUTSIDE of state college, then yeh, you've gotta worry about race.
There's not a "race thing" to "drop" or "worry about." There is, however, a valid question on the table that has yet to be answered. Besides, would you tell a Jewish person who asked for a list of kosher restaurants to drop the "religion thing"? Or a Spanish-speaking immigrant who asked for necessary services in his language to drop the "language thing"? Or a Muslim who asked for list of mosques in the area to drop the "race thing" or "religion thing"? This kind of backward thinking is both unhelpful and insulting -- particularly as this brand of colorblindness is only touted when it requires non-whites to assimilate and whites to tend to business as usual. This question was not meant to divide -- but rather to give anyone who had HELPFUL information an opportunity to share it. The bottom line is, a black person living in State College has certain needs that will otherwise go unmet unless (s)he actively seeks out--or perhaps even creates--resources to meet her needs. That doesn't change because a bunch of anonymous internet posters insist that black people aren't entitled to cultural connection in their town.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:50 PM
 
52 posts, read 102,102 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by becka040 View Post
I just joined- but WOW- I had no idea that a church had to be black?
I can understand looking for the hair place that understands the black hair texture....
No offense, but if you can understand one, you can understand the other. And to be quite honest, if you were to take a scientist's perspective on hair, it's actually MORE difficult to understand why someone would seek a black "hair place" than a "black church." Hair is hair. The fact that follicles are shaped differently should be immaterial when it comes to professional hair stylists being trained in the art and care of human hair. This is even more true when you consider that most black women perm (aka "relax") their hair, but in its natural state have hair that is just as curly or wavy as women of other races and ethnicities. Please google the website "Black Girl Long Hair" and read the book "The Science of Black Hair" by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy so that you can be a little better informed on this topic.

Given the genetic/biological sameness of hair, it is actually LESS shocking that a black person might seek out a cultural worship experience meets her subjective preference for connecting to God. Christianity is wonderfully diverse, filled not only with a wide variety of denominations and religious traditions -- but also an incredible range within particular denominations and traditions. I'm a little baffled as to why you are shocked that someone from faith tradition A would ask people in the area for a list of places that practice that same tradition...

And to be clear, I never stated that a church "had to be black." Rather I inquired as to where such churches--which really do exist and have played and continue to play an important role institutionally for the majority of black Christians--are in State College. If you happen to know where such churches are, please comment toward that end.

Last edited by blackonyx03; 06-14-2012 at 12:14 AM..
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:55 PM
 
52 posts, read 102,102 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
Black church God In America: The Black Church | PBS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pa Dutch View Post
What exactly is a "black church"? Is it the black version of a stormfront church? I say that tongue in cheek, but, I would hope, that at the very least, churches are not racially segregating themselves. Just seems odd.

My church doesn't care if you are black, white, gay, or a biker. We are open and accepting. To top it off, we aren't even crazy fundamentalists
Gerania's link is a start, though like most of what you see on TV, trust but verify. :-) If your question is a serious one, I actually encourage you to (a) read up on the topic (I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post hyperlinks to other sites here, but I can give you recs later if you truly want them) and (b) more importantly, make a black churchgoing friend who can introduce you to one particular example of this aspect of the black cultural experience in this country.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:59 PM
 
52 posts, read 102,102 times
Reputation: 55
Here's the updated list. Keep the good ideas coming...

Black Churches In or Near State College, PA

1. Albright-Bethune United Methodist Church - State College, PA

2. Unity Church of Jesus Christ - State College, PA

3. Bethel AME - Lewiston, PA

4. Mt. Zion Baptist Church - Altoona, PA

5. Mt. Hope Missionary Baptist - Mt. Union, PA

6. Tabernacle COGIC - Mt. Union, PA


Black Hair Salons In or Near State College, PA

1. S'Hair-Eng Hair Salon - State College, PA

2. Darchelle Marie's Hair Studio - Lemont, PA

3. Kim's Hair Care (beauty supply) - State College, PA
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:07 AM
 
52 posts, read 102,102 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by New2StateCollege View Post
A black beauty supply store called Kim's Hair Care has just opened in State College. Although the store is very small and the selection is comparatively limited, it's still a great place to find hair care products, extensions, and accessories that are not available at other local stores. The owner is very helpful and if she doesn't have an item in stock, she will be more than happy to order it. She also has close connections with a campus group called Beauty By Design. Amongst other things this group provides workshops about black hair care and makeup. They also have a database of (mostly unlicensed) black barbers and beauticians. Keep in mind that this is a student organization and most of their events are on campus. They are also gone for breaks and during the summer.
Very helpful! I've updated the list. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by New2StateCollege View Post
As far as churches are concerned, Unity Church is the go-to church for people seeking a black church...If your friend is relocating to State College as a business professional I would highly encourage her to find a church that is filled with young professionals. Calvary Baptist Church is great and has a ministry called ThirdPlace.
Thanks so much. I'll tell her to check CBC out. She tried Unity, but had some serious doctrinal/theological concerns with the message there. So the hunt continues!

Quote:
Originally Posted by New2StateCollege View Post
Because this is a college community, racial categorizations are not used at all. As an adult, you are either an undergrad, a grad student, a professional, or a retiree (or an inmate...joking, but not really)...You will quickly find that skin color does not guarantee any commonality other than skin color. Oh and here's another curve ball, if your relative is here for any length of time it's highly likely that she will date someone outside of her race.
I appreciate your perspective. I don't believe there is a place in the good ole US of A where racial categorizations are not used , but perhaps you just mean that they are less useful in State College. She is a professional, and she is continuing to expand that professional circle through her employment and networking. So this post really is meant to fulfill a different need. Any black professional who has risen in the ranks of her field knows that can be a lonely road and has had of necessity to be well-adapted in white professional and social circles. We perhaps more than anyone else are also keenly aware that "all my skin ain't my kin" (as my grandma used to say), and we have no delusions that blacks are some monolithic group. But this awareness doesn't make the need or desire for meaningful cultural connection with blacks with whom we do find commonality any less salient or legitimate. The point is to find it if it's there and to seek to create it if it's not. I don't think it's an all-or-nothing, zero-sum game either, but rather a matter of successfully straddling two (or more) different cultures that together shape and define one's identity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by New2StateCollege View Post
I didn't intend on being so verbose, but I'm sure some new State College transplant will stumble across this post so I wanted to add my two-cents.
Your post was incredibly helpful! Thanks for taking the time to respond!

Last edited by blackonyx03; 06-14-2012 at 12:29 AM..
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:01 AM
 
31 posts, read 40,149 times
Reputation: 40
I commiserate with your relative.
According to the above-mentioned statistics, if 4% of the town are black, and there are 86000 people there, that makes 3440 people who are black in a town of 86000. I can tell you from my experience as an ex PSUer that you could go weeks walking around campus and not see a black person. I am white but had a black roommate and friends and believe me it was a rather unnerving experience for them at times. As a white you could imagine walking around campus or town and never seeing another white person for days...
All the politically correct "there are no race issues at PSU" talk is simply an image that people would like to live with, or are under the impression that they must express, because of course people at school are "so open minded and accepting" etc. There are a lot of very professional and brilliant people there, but as at any college, particularly one based around the fact that, let's face it, it's lower cost than most as it's the eminent PA state school, there are a lot of wild and youthful and drunk people and events there, lots of drugs etc as on any campus, so it's very possible to find one's self in "compromising" situations, no matter what color or religion. If you're honest there's just this "force" that is of the demographic or sociological situation there, that can be hard to deal with the pressure. As my old girlfriend said once when we went up for game day, and she had graduated from State College and is white and smart AND beautiful, "There are so many blondes!" (Or, of course, the stunning brunette, PSU's other staple.)

Here's a pic that represents the makeup of what that means in reality day to day:
Cheerleaders | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Happy Valley. It's one of my favorite places, and I'd live there at least part-time if I could ever swing it. My main recommendation though to you is to promote her to take advantage of the educational resources there if she can while she's there. PSU has come a long way in pouring money into infrastructure of the campus since I went there (just for ex.: the new IT building they built a while back) and while I've heard PSU criticized for their "cookie cutter" approach as a diploma mill for undergrads, they in fact have some very scholarly programs in science and liberal arts if you can find them out. And ALL kinds of programs.

Oh yeah, here's an on campus resource that may help her:
Student Affairs @ Penn State | Paul Robeson Cultural Center

Good luck to her.

'meist
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