African Americans are among the most devout groups in religion research, often outranking other demographics in areas like religious practice, attendance, and belief.
As a result, some predicted that young Black adults would resist the moves away from faith seen among white millennials.
Even with all the shifts in the faith landscape over the past several years, Black Americans remain more religious than other groups and more likely than the average American to stay in the tradition they were raised in, according to a massive report released by Pew Research Center last year.
But black “nones” are growing. With 3 in 10 adults in the US claiming no religious affiliation on surveys, the rise of the nones has touched every corner of American society.
Over more than a decade, the share of Black Americans who say that they have no religious affiliation has risen more dramatically than whites, Hispanics, or Asians.
But looking beyond that statistic, we see a much more nuanced view of Black religion in the United States.
In 2008, 22 percent of all Americans who participated in the Cooperative Election Study indicated that they were atheist, agnostic, or described their religion as “nothing in particular.” Just 12 years later, the share of nones rose to just over 34 percent. When that rise is tracked across different racial groups, different patterns emerge.
For instance, white respondents tracked the national average nearly perfectly, with 23 percent nones in 2008, rising to 34 percent by 2020. Among Hispanic respondents. There was an increase of 11 percentage points, but for Asians—who already had the highest levels of religious unaffiliation—it was much more modest at just about 5 percent.
Among African Americans, the increase in the share of the nones was much larger, more than 15 percentage points. In 2008, African Americans were the least likely to be nones (19.5%), but by 2020 they were more likely to say that they had no religious affiliation than white or Hispanic respondents (34.9%).
But beyond that top-level statistic, the story among African Americans is much more subtle and nuanced. As previously mentioned, three response options are combined to make up the nones: atheists, agnostics, and those who say that they have no religion in particular.
When the types of nones are calculated for each racial group, a much different picture emerges. While the nones have gained the most ground among African Americans, that does not mean that there are many more Black atheists and agnostics than there were in 2008.
In fact, among Black nones, just 6 percent of them identify as atheist and another 6 percent say that they are agnostic. That means that nearly 9 in 10 Black nones are nothing in particular. That’s much higher than any other racial group.
For instance, just 61 percent of white nones are nothing in particular, 63 percent of Asians, and 73 percent of Hispanics. Clearly, when African Americans leave religion behind, they are very reluctant to embrace the labels of atheist or agnostic.
There’s a chapter in my book about the religious unaffiliated titled “All Nones Are Not Created Equal” about how different those three groups are really based on a number of demographic factors, but one stands out. Among those who said that they were atheists in 2010, just 3 percent identified with a religion in 2014. Among agnostics, it was 6.5 percent who embraced a religious tradition. For nothing in particulars, it was nearly 25 percent.
Thus, the data indicates that Black nones have a stronger faith background and are much more likely to embrace religion in the future than nones of other racial groups.
Despite rise of religious unaffiliation, Black Americans who still identify with a religious tradition are staying faithful. They continue to report much higher levels of church attendance than other races.
For instance, in 2020, nearly 46 percent of religious Black people describe their church attendance as weekly or more than once per week. For white respondents, just 36 percent attended weekly or more. For Hispanics that percentage was 32 percent and for Asians it was 38 percent. On the other end of the spectrum, less than 30 percent of Black respondents said that they attended church less than once per year. That’s nearly 10 points lower than whites in the sample.
While the share of the nones has nearly doubled in the past 12 years among Black Americans, there’s still plenty of evidence in the data that they are more open to religion than other racial groups.
In 2020, just 2 percent of all African Americans said that they were atheists, and another 2 percent were agnostics, compared to 31 percent who said that they had no religion in particular.
As previously mentioned, “nothing in particulars” are 4 to 8 times more likely to come back to religion over time compared to atheists and agnostics. That means that many of them may return to religion over time. And among those who still identify with a religious tradition, Black Americans are more active in their religious communities than any other racial group.
Even in an age of rapid secularization, the Black church still plays a crucial role in the lives of African Americans throughout the US. For Black pastors, the mission field is incredibly ripe, and many are heeding this call.
The North American Mission Board has worked in partnership with the SBC’s National African American Fellowship with the SBC’s National African American Fellowship to plant churches in underserved African American communities across the United States, and the first fruits of those efforts are already beginning to emerge. New efforts by Crete Collective and Dhati Lewis’s forthcoming BLVD are also turning attention to such communities.
Jude 3 Project, an apologetics ministry among Black Christians led by Lisa Fields, has a discussion series called “Why I Don’t Go,” engaging and listening to African Americans who have left the church.
“Classical and traditional apologetics goes a lot to proving the existence of God. When you know the Black context, you realize most Black people believe that a God exists or a higher power exist,” Fields said in a podcast interview last year.
“Black atheism is growing, but it’s still a minority of Black people. So we have to figure out what black people are navigating, what are the challenges, and meet them there.”
What percentage of the America is atheist?
In one 2018 research paper using indirect probabilistic methods with considerable uncertainty estimated that 26% of Americans are atheists, which is much higher than the 3%-11% rates that are consistently found in surveys.
What is the most atheist country?
What is the most atheist state in America?
As of 2000, the six states and provinces reported to have the lowest rate of religious adherence in North America were Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, and West Virginia. Although West Virginia is reported to have a low rate of religious adherence, it is above the national average rate of church attendance.
Who is a famous atheist?
7. Richard Dawkins (b. 1941) Dawkins is the most famous of the ?Four Horsemen? of the New Atheist movement, and perhaps the most influential living atheist.
Which is worse agnostic or atheist?
In contrast, agnostics were thought to be viewed as more confused, indecisive, questioning, cowardly, kind, curious, neutral, and scientific than atheists,? wrote the researchers. Atheists, but not agnostics, were reported to be morally worse, meaner, and colder than Christians.
What’s the least religious country?
China tops the list of the world’s least religious nations by far; it’s followed by countries in Europe ? about three fourth of all Swedish and Czech also said that they were either atheists or not religious.
Who created atheism?
The 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher Diagoras is known as the “first atheist”, and strongly criticized religion and mysticism.
What is Tom Hanks religion?
In his childhood, Hanks’s family moved often; by the age of 10, he had lived in 10 different houses. While Hanks’s family religious history was Catholic and Mormon, one journalist characterized Hanks’s teenage self as being a “Bible-toting evangelical” for several years.
What religion is Jim Carrey?
He was raised a Roman Catholic and has three older siblings, John, Patricia, and Rita. His mother was of French, Irish, and Scottish descent, and his father was of French-Canadian ancestry (the family’s original surname was Carré).
What religion is Denzel Washington?
Washington is a devout Christian, and has considered becoming a preacher. He stated in 1999, “A part of me still says, ‘Maybe, Denzel, you’re supposed to preach. Maybe you’re still compromising. ‘ I’ve had an opportunity to play great men and, through their words, to preach.
What is the message of Forrest Gump?
One of the clearest messages that can be taken from Forrest Gump is that it’s important to appreciate life while you have it. Gump’s story shows that you never know what’s going to happen in the future, and that also includes not knowing when your time will be up or if your life is ever going to be compromised.
What was Robin Williams religion?
Williams was raised and sometimes identified himself as an Episcopalian. In a comedy routine, he described his denomination as “I have that idea of Chicago protestant, Episcopal?Catholic light: half the religion, half the guilt.”
What did Denzel say to Will Smith?
While accepting the award for Best Actor at the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith remarked on what Denzel had said to him in the wake of his violent outburst. ?Denzel (Washington) said to me a few minutes ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you. ‘?
What did Denzel Washington say about selfies?
Denzel Washington recently expressed his views on social media and what young people can do to combat its harmful effects. ?The No. 1 photograph today is a selfie, ‘Oh, me at the protest. ‘ ‘Me with the fire.
Does Robin Williams believe in God?
?I believe in heaven and hell. I’ve had coming attractions of them in my dreams,? he told one interviewer.
What did Robin Williams say about God?
?You get a real strong sense of God when you go through rehab,? he says. Williams, 56, checked himself into a rehab facility in Los Angeles for about a month last year.
What is the Episcopalian religion?
The Episcopal Church describes itself as “Protestant, yet Catholic” and claims apostolic succession, tracing its bishops back to the apostles via holy orders. The Book of Common Prayer, a collection of rites, blessings, liturgies, and prayers used throughout the Anglican Communion, is central to Episcopal worship.
What is the robin test footage?
Last week, actor Jamie Costa posted a five-minute video entitled ?ROBIN Test Footage Scene? wherein he impersonates the late comedian Robin Williams. The screen test was uploaded on YouTube but has since been deleted.
Is there gonna be a movie about Robin Williams?
An intimate look into the life and work of the revered master comedian and actor, Robin Williams.
Nine-in-ten Black 'nones' believe in God, but fewer pray or …
Nine-in-ten Black ‘nones’ believe in God, but fewer pray or attend services (RyanJLane via Getty Images) The share of Black Americans who do not identify with any religion is increasing, as is true among Americans overall. Still, the vast majority of religiously unaffiliated Black Americans believe in God and about half pray regularly, although few attend religious services, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. And in guided, small-group discussions, unaffiliated Black adults expressed a distinction between believing in a higher power and engaging in practices common among religiously affiliated Black Americans. Pew Research Center conducted this study to explore the breadth and diversity of Black Americans’ religious experiences. This survey represents the Center’s most comprehensive, in-depth study of the subject, drawing on a nationally representative sample of 8,660 Black adults (ages 18 and older). The sample consists of a wide range of adults who identify as Black or African American, including some who identify as both Black and Hispanic or Black and another race (such as Black and White, or Black and Asian). Survey respondents were recruited from four nationally representative sources: Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel (conducted online), NORC’s AmeriSpeak panel (conducted online or by phone), Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel (conducted online) and a national cross-sectional survey by Pew Research Center (conducted online and by mail). Responses were collected from Nov. 19, 2019, to June 3, 2020, but most respondents completed the survey between Jan. 21 and Feb. 10, 2020. The survey was complemented by guided, small-group discussions (focus groups). These gave Black Americans the opportunity to describe their religious experiences in their own words. Here are the questions used for the survey, along with responses, and its methodology. Here is the methodology for the focus groups. Nine-in-ten Black “nones” – people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – believe in God or another higher power, according to the survey. Among religiously affiliated Black Americans – those who adhere to Christian and non-Christian faiths – 99% believe in God. Overall, “nones” make up 21% of Black U.S. adults. Most in that category say their religion is “nothing in particular” (18%), while far fewer describe themselves as agnostic (2%) or atheist (1%). Since so few Black Americans identify as atheist or agnostic, the two groups are analyzed together in this post. The widespread belief in God among Black “nones” is driven primarily by those who say their religion is nothing in particular, rather than those who identify as atheist or agnostic. Among those who say their religion is nothing in particular, 94% believe in God or some other higher power. Among Americans overall, about seven-in-ten “nones” believe in God or a higher power. That includes 86% of adults who describe their religion as nothing in particular and 46% of atheists and agnostics. About half of Black ‘nones’ believe in higher powers outside of those defined in religious texts Although nearly all Black “nones” believe in God or a higher power, the nature of that belief is different from that of Black Americans who identify with a religion. Only 36% of Black “nones” believe in the God of the Bible or other scripture, compared with 85% of religiously affiliated Black Americans. Among Black Americans who say their religion is nothing in particular, 41% believe in the God of the Bible, but a larger share (52%) believe in some other kind of higher power or spiritual force in the universe. Among Black atheists and agnostics, 3%…
Black Atheists Often Feel Forced to Hide Their Beliefs …
Black Atheists Often Feel Forced to Hide Their Beliefs, Resulting in Significant Harm, New Research Finds Washington, DC—Today, the atheist organizations American Atheists and Black Nonbelievers released Black Nonreligious Americans, a report based on a survey of 891 Black participants, drawn from a larger survey of nonreligious people living in America, organized by a team of researchers at Strength in Numbers Consulting Group. The data indicates that Black nonreligious Americans often hide their nonreligious beliefs, even from their close family members, out of fear of rejection. Further, rejection by family members is likely to result in depression and other negative outcomes, the report found. To help reduce these harms, Black Nonbelievers and American Atheists encourage families and communities to fully accept nonreligious people. They are also calling on the media to avoid the false stereotype that all Black Americans are religious. “Black organizations and members of the media too often overlook the struggles of Black atheists,” said Debbie Goddard, Vice President for Programs at American Atheists and former director of African Americans for Humanism. “Many of us have experiences that are distinct from those of other Black people but also from those of most atheists. This report helps tell the stories people need to hear about the experiences of those of us who live at the intersection of being both Black and nonreligious.” The report found that nearly four in ten (39.6%) Black survey respondents mostly or always concealed their nonreligious beliefs from members of their immediate family, compared with 31.2% of other nonreligious respondents. The rate of concealment was even greater among extended family where more than half (51.1%) of Black respondents mostly or always concealed their beliefs, compared to 42.7% for other respondents. The most common area where Black participants reported negative experiences related to their nonreligious identity was with their families (62%). Black participants who suffered this family rejection were one-third (33.5%) more likely than other Black participants to screen positive for depression. “The higher level of concealment and anguish among Black participants demonstrates how much stigma there is around nonbelief in our communities. When we do come out, our families often aren’t receptive, and many feel like they are alone,” said Mandisa Thomas, founder and president of Black Nonbelievers. “This is one of the primary reasons Black Nonbelievers was created—to provide a supportive space for Black atheists who face rejection by their families and communities. We also advocate on behalf of Black atheists and religion doubters to rally against the dominant religious narrative, especially pertaining to matters of racial justice.” “For believers, social circles are often limited to those who are ‘equally yoked’ or just like you. Opportunities to hear and learn different ways of thinking, philosophy, other religious thoughts, nonreligious life, diverse cultures, music, film, etc., are missed,” says Suandria Hall, a National Certified Counselor (NCC). “It’s no wonder that those who leave their faith struggle tremendously to connect and make friends. Social anxiety can develop along with depression and adjustment disorders. Finding and learning to connect outside of religion becomes the necessary task toward healing.” Overall, one in four (24.6%) Black respondents were likely depressed, compared to 17.0% of respondents of other races, meaning that Black participants…
African-American Atheists – The New York Times
African-American AtheistsThe UnbelieversCredit…Andrew Councill for The New York TimesRONNELLE ADAMS came out to his mother twice, first about his homosexuality, then about his atheism.“My mother is very devout,” said Mr. Adams, 30, a Washington resident who has published an atheist children’s book, “Aching and Praying,” but who in high school considered becoming a Baptist preacher. “She started telling me her issues with homosexuality, which were, of course, Biblical,” he said. “ ‘I just don’t care what the Bible says about that,’ I told her, and she asked why. ‘I don’t believe that stuff anymore.’ It got silent. She was distraught. She told me she was more bothered by that than the revelation I was gay.”This was in 2000, and Mr. Adams did not meet another black atheist in Washington until 2009, when he found the Facebook group called Black Atheists, which immediately struck a chord. “I felt like, ‘100 black atheists? Wow!’ ” he said. In the two years since, Black Atheists has grown to 879 members from that initial 100, YouTube confessionals have attracted thousands, blogs like “Godless and Black” have gained followings, and hundreds more have joined Facebook groups like Black Atheist Alliance (524 members) to share their struggles with “coming out” about their atheism. Feeling isolated from religious friends and families and excluded from what it means to be African-American, people turn to these sites to seek out advice and understanding, with some of them even finding a date. And having benefited from the momentum online, organizations like African Americans for Humanism and Center for Inquiry-Harlem have well-attended meet-up groups, and others like Black Atheists of America and Black Nonbelievers have been founded.African-Americans are remarkably religious even for a country known for its faithfulness, as the United States is. According to the Pew Forum 2008 United States Religious Landscape Survey, 88 percent of African-Americans believe in God with absolute certainty, compared with 71 percent of the total population, with more than half attending religious services at least once a week.While some black clergy members lament the loss of parishioners to mega-churches like Rick Warren’s and prosperity-gospel purveyors like Joel Osteen, it is often taken for granted that African-Americans go to religious services. Islam and other religions are represented in the black community, but with the assumption that African-Americans are religious comes the expectation that they are Christian.“That’s the kicker, when they ask which church you go to,” said Linda Chavers, 29, a Harvard graduate student. The question comes up among young black professionals like her classmates as casually as chitchat about classes and dating. “At first,” she said, “they think it’s because I haven’t found one, and they’ll say, ‘Oh I know a few great churches,’ and I don’t know a nice way to say I’m not interested,” she said.ImageCredit…Ellen WeinsteinEven among those African-Americans who report no affiliation, more than two-thirds say religion plays a somewhat important role in their lives, according to Pew. And some nonbelieving African-Americans have been known to attend church out of tradition.“I have some colleagues and friends who identify as culturally Christian in a way…
Category:African-American atheists – Wikipedia
Category:African-American atheists – Wikipedia From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigation Jump to searchThis is a non-diffusing subcategory of Category:American atheists.It includes American atheists that can also be found in the parent category, or in diffusing subcategories of the parent. Atheists of Black or African American heritage. Pages in category “African-American atheists” The following 38 pages are in this category, out of 38 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more). A Eric AndréB Michael Baisden James Baldwin Yosef Ben-Jochannan Jamila Bey Hannibal BuressC Ernie Chambers Ta-Nehisi CoatesD Anthony David (singer) Samuel R. Delany Carl DixF James Forman Arian Foster Fallon FoxG Debbie Goddard Greydon SquareH Lorraine Hansberry Walter Everette Hawkins Heather Henderson Ayaan Hirsi Ali Zora Neale Hurston Sikivu HutchinsonJ John G. Jackson (writer)L Leighann LordM Niki Massey Butterfly McQueen John McWhorterP Charlie Parker Anthony B. Pinn Montel Vontavious PorterR Eroseanna Robinson Joel Augustus RogersS George SchuylerT Mandisa Thomas Tyler, the CreatorW Mark White (bassist) Steven Whitehurst Bobby E. Wright Retrieved from “https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Category:African-American_atheists&oldid=1059929189” Categories: American atheistsAfrican-American religious skepticsHidden categories: Wikipedia non-diffusing subcategories
Atheism in the African diaspora – Wikipedia
Atheism in the African diasporaBlack Nonbelievers Table at AACon August 2017 Atheism in the African diaspora is atheism as it is experienced by black people outside of Africa. In the United States, blacks are less likely than other ethnic groups to be religiously unaffiliated, let alone identifying as atheist. The demographics are similar in the United Kingdom. Atheists are individuals who do not hold a belief in God or gods. Atheism is a disbelief in God or gods or a denial of God or gods, or it is simply a lack of belief in gods. Some, but not all, atheists identify as secular humanists, who are individuals who believe that life has meaning and joy without the need for the supernatural or religion and that all individuals should live ethical lives which can provide for the greater good of humanity. Black atheists and secular humanists exist today and in history, though many were not always vocal in their beliefs or lack of belief. Issues that face black atheists include the fact that they are “racially different” from the larger and more visible atheist movement and “religiously different” from the black community. Black atheists are often a minority group in their own countries and locations and then are an even smaller minority in the atheist group, which is itself often a minority. Sometimes, atheism is seen as a whites-only club by black people and in the United States, African American history, slavery and the civil rights movement are all closely tied to Christianity. Religion has very much become part of the tradition of black history and culture. Even when there is a strong atheist or secular humanist movement in the African diaspora, it has been ignored. In surveys of history, black expressions of humanism and secularism have been ignored by historians. Black atheism and religion During the Harlem Renaissance, several prominent black authors in America wrote or discussed their criticisms of the Christian church in various forms. Anthony Pinn called Christianity a tool for keeping the status quo and historically, for supporting slavery. Michael Lackey sees African American atheism as a way to celebrate a “revolutionary victory” over what he perceives as an oppressive and violent god-concept. Many African American atheists see hope in a secular world view and find “religious culture a reason for melancholic mourning.” Similar views have been expressed by black atheists in the UK, some of which have roots in countries like Nigeria. These atheists are sorry to see religion having a deleterious effect on their homeland. African-American communities tend to believe that the church is the center of morality and often turn to the church to solve various social problems that the government is not being perceived to solve or care about. As writer Cord Jefferson put it, “For a long time, black houses of worship doubled as war rooms to plan protest actions and galvanize people made weary by centuries of racist violence and legislation.” Many black people have turned to religion to find the answers to their own suffering. In addition to the historic…
Black Americans See the Biggest Shift Away from Faith
Black Americans See the Biggest Shift Away from FaithAfrican Americans are among the most devout groups in religion research, often outranking other demographics in areas like religious practice, attendance, and belief. As a result, some predicted that young Black adults would resist the moves away from faith seen among white millennials. Even with all the shifts in the faith landscape over the past several years, Black Americans remain more religious than other groups and more likely than the average American to stay in the tradition they were raised in, according to a massive report released by Pew Research Center last year. But black “nones” are growing. With 3 in 10 adults in the US claiming no religious affiliation on surveys, the rise of the nones has touched every corner of American society. Over more than a decade, the share of Black Americans who say that they have no religious affiliation has risen more dramatically than whites, Hispanics, or Asians. But looking beyond that statistic, we see a much more nuanced view of Black religion in the United States. In 2008, 22 percent of all Americans who participated in the Cooperative Election Study indicated that they were atheist, agnostic, or described their religion as “nothing in particular.” Just 12 years later, the share of nones rose to just over 34 percent. When that rise is tracked across different racial groups, different patterns emerge. For instance, white respondents tracked the national average nearly perfectly, with 23 percent nones in 2008, rising to 34 percent by 2020. Among Hispanic respondents. There was an increase of 11 percentage points, but for Asians—who already had the highest levels of religious unaffiliation—it was much more modest at just about 5 percent. Among African Americans, the increase in the share of the nones was much larger, more than 15 percentage points. In 2008, African Americans were the least likely to be nones (19.5%), but by 2020 they were more likely to say that they had no religious affiliation than white or Hispanic respondents (34.9%). But beyond that top-level statistic, the story among African Americans is much more subtle and nuanced. As previously mentioned, three response options are combined to make up the nones: atheists, agnostics, and those who say that they have no religion in particular. When the types of nones are calculated for each racial group, a much different picture emerges. While the nones have gained the most ground among African Americans, that does not mean that there are many more Black atheists and agnostics than there were in 2008. In fact, among Black nones, just 6 percent of them identify as atheist and another 6 percent say that they are agnostic. That means that nearly 9 in 10 Black nones are nothing in particular. That’s much higher than any other racial group. For instance, just 61 percent of white nones are nothing in particular, 63 percent of Asians, and 73 percent of Hispanics. Clearly, when African Americans leave religion behind, they are very reluctant to embrace the labels of atheist or agnostic. There’s a chapter in my book about the religious unaffiliated titled “All Nones Are Not Created Equal” about how different those three groups are really based on a number of demographic factors, but one stands out. Among those who said that they were atheists in 2010, just 3 percent identified with a religion in 2014. Among agnostics, it was 6.5 percent who embraced a religious tradition. For nothing in particulars, it was nearly 25 percent. Thus, the data indicates that Black nones have a stronger faith background and are much more likely to embrace religion in the future than nones of other racial groups. Despite rise of religious unaffiliation, Black Americans who still identify with a religious tradition are staying faithful. They continue to report much higher levels of church attendance than other races. For instance, in 2020, nearly 46 percent of religious Black people describe their church attendance as weekly or more than once per week. For white respondents, just 36 percent attended weekly or more. For Hispanics…
Black atheists: A minority within a minority by Brandon Withrow
Black atheists: A minority within a minority by Brandon Withrow – Freedom From Religion Foundation By Brandon Withrow This article, edited for length, originally appeared on The Daily Beast website on Nov. 12, 2016, and is reprinted with permission. While honesty is said to be the best policy, for American atheists who are still in the metaphorical closet, it may also come with a price tag. And this can especially be the case for African-American atheists — often referred to as a minority within a minority. “This has been a valid observation and experience for me and others,” says [FFRF Member] Mandisa Thomas, president of the Atlanta-based organization Black Nonbelievers.”I was raised in what is known as the ‘Conscious/Black Nationalist’ community,” she says. “I was educated early on about black history and culture, as well as the effects of institutionalized racism and injustice that was committed against marginalized groups in the United States.” Thomas notes that black nonbelievers are a minority among African-Americans. Past studies of African-Americans and faith show that at they are demographically (87 percent) the most religious group in the nation. Additionally, she notes, “the number of blacks and other ‘minorities’ who openly identify as atheist, while growing, is still small.” [FFRF Member] Candace Gorham, author of The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women are Walking Out on Religion — and Others Should Too, also sees African-American atheists as a double-minority. “When I’m around a lot of black people,” she says by email, “I ‘pray’ that religion doesn’t come up! I don’t want to have to answer questions and I don’t want to be expected to pray or agree or whatever else. But if you’re around black people for long enough, it will come up.” Gorham was raised a Jehovah’s Witness until (by age 9) her parents separated. She stayed curious about religion and joined a Methodist church, later becoming involved in a nondenominational church ministry. “I eventually was ordained as a prophetess and evangelist,” she says, “and was involved in things like casting out demons, speaking in tongues, and faith healing.” She’s had many personal life challenges, she adds, but “what started the decline for me was when I started learning about the errancy of the bible.” Discovering that the bible wasn’t infallible “really wreaked havoc” on her faith. Leaving is an option Regardless of the difficulties, there are many black nonbelievers who want to assure others that leaving the church is an option. “Exodus: The Documentary,” for example, is a full-length film from Christian journalist David Person and Chuck Miller (regional director for the American Atheists), and it looks at the increasing number of African-Americans becoming nonbelievers and the difficulties they face in doing so. “Today, more than ever, black people . . . particularly our young people, are leaving the church, religion and God,” says [FFRF Member] Bridgett (Bria) Crutchfield by email. She’s the founder of the Detroit affiliate of Black Nonbelievers and is interviewed in “Exodus.” “Unlike atheists of yesterday, we’re for the most part . . . vocal,” Crutchfield says. “‘Exodus’ focuses on African-Americans and their exodus-exit from the church. It’s honest, raw, and intimate.” Crutchfield was raised in a conservative Jehovah’s Witness family until she was 18. She later became a Pentecostal Christian in her 30s, and then the doubts about her…
Confessions of a black atheist – CNN
Confessions of a black atheist 01:29 – Source: CNN Is America Greater Without God? Editor’s Note: Thomas founder and current President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc. She also serves on the boards for Foundation Beyond Belief and the Secular Coalition for America. The opinions expressed in this column belong to Thomas. Story highlights African-American atheists represent a small but growing segment of American atheists at large Most blacks, though, identify as religious, and the church is intricately tied to tradition, history and culture CNN — I am atheist – and I am black. Yes, we exist – even if many in the media sometimes don’t notice us. In a CNN special that aired on Tuesday, for example, people of color were not as well-represented as American atheism’s more familiar face: You know, white males. In fact, African-American atheists represent a still small – though growing – segment of American atheists at large. Does this mean that blacks and other minorities generally just don’t gravitate towards nonbelief, or are there other factors which keep us hidden? There is a harsh truth to face here. Most blacks identify as religious. Belief in God is touted with pride, and the church is intricately tied to tradition, history and culture. It is not uncommon to assume that I attend services as a black woman. The question often isn’t if I go to church – it’s where. And even if one doesn’t go to church, surely they still have faith – because our people have endured and overcome so much hardship that it had to be the work of a god. All of this makes the words “black” and “atheist” hard for many to imagine in the same sentence. It can be extremely difficult to discuss religion objectively in the black community. Many have social, emotional and financial stakes invested in this institution, so for one to even say they have doubts is like committing treason. To openly identify as an atheist in the midst of heavy religious influence can be next to impossible, and good luck finding other blacks who also don’t believe. It is very important to note however, that the Internet has made it easier for black atheists to find each other, and there is a large community of us online. Though I was raised secular – a rarity in my community – I’ve had to endure ostracism from family and friends as a result of openly identifying as an atheist. However, my journey is far from tragic. In founding my organization, Black Nonbelievers, in 2011, I have been fortunate to connect with others who were either raised secular like myself, or who were brought up extremely religious and left it behind. And they have done so bravely, defying the perception and expectation that all blacks blindly accept religion. The Friendly Atheists Next Door My experience in the secular community as a black atheist has ranged from feeling totally welcome to feeling totally isolated, and even ignored. On the one hand, there is common ground shared – our nonbelief and even discontent with religion unites us. On the other hand, there is a notion that since we share this common ground that there are no other issues to address. The lack of people of color at secular events is a problem – partly because there is unawareness of such events existing, but also because there is limited effort placed in accommodation and…