OpEd: Black Atheists Rising
AAH Advisor Sikivu Hutchinson writes about the growing, but still marginalized, presence of humanism and freethought in the black community.
According to the Pew Research Center 87% of African Americans are religious, making them among the most religious communities in the U.S. In my predominantly African American South Los Angeles neighborhood, the most common personalized license plates are righteously faith-based. Fish icons, hands clasped in prayer, and church congregation names grace cars buffed to a blinding sheen
Less than 0.5 percent of blacks in America self-identified as atheists in 2008, according to the U.S. Religious Landscapes Survey by Pew Forum. African Americans are the country’s “the most religiously committed racial or ethnic group in the nation”: according to the Pew survey, 85 percent identify as Christian (more than any other racial or ethnic group) and only 12 percent are religiously unaffiliated. Kimberly Veal, the group’s organizer, says that because of these numbers, “There seems to be this misconception that we’re an anomaly, that there’s no such thing as a black atheist or a minority atheist.”