BLACK HISTORY: Sikivu Hutchinson, Black Atheist. Not All Black People Believe In God

Posted on Feb 23 2013 - 4:18pm by Funky Dineva

SikivuHutchDA2

Being that it is Black History month I found it prudent that in the midst of the shade, foolery, and other entertainment foolishness that I carved out a little time to educate my captive audience. I’ve decided to team up with @Anti_Intellect of the Anti Intellect Blog to bring to you guys a few nuggets of Black History. ~ Funky Dineva

One of the biggest misconceptions about Black people is that we all believe in god(s). Many people, including many Black people, continue to believe that religion is synonymous with Black life. It is not unusual to hear people make the false claim that the Civil Rights Movement would not have been possible without Black churches.

One of the things that I am passionate about is spotlighting trailblazers in the Black community. It is for that reason that I spotlight Sikivu Hutchinson, a Black atheist. Hutchinson is a writer and senior intergroup specialist for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. She received a Ph.D. from New York University and has taught at UCLA, the California Institute of the Arts and Western Washington University.

Sikivu Hutchinson fights passionately for racial justice, gender justice, LGBT justice, and economic justice for all Black people. Her atheism is firmly rooted in secular humanism. Her activism powerfully rejects the stereotype that care and concern for the Black community must come from a religious perspective.

Of the Black Church she writes,

“The social justice compass of the Black Church has been broken by consumerism, institutional sexism, and faith based witch hunts on gays and lesbians.”

It is hard to disagree with her when one thinks of pastors like Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar, and Juanita Bynum. While there are progressive Black churches standing up for social justice, these churches are often the exception rather than the rule.

While it may be true that Christianity–a religion introduced to Blacks by White slave traders and owners–has, at times, sustained us during years of slavery, Jim Crow, and racism; religion has not been the only thing that has sustained us. Black atheists like Hubert Harrison, Carter G. Woodson, Butterfly McQueen, and George S. Schuyler are just a few Black atheists who, like Sikivu Hutchinson today, were deeply committed to fighting against racial injustice.

I celebrate Sikivu Hutchinson as a Black atheist who is challenging what it means to be a Black person and an atheist. Contrary to popular belief, not all Black people are religious, and not all atheists are White. There is a growing number of Black atheists who insist on our voices being heard. Hutchinson is at the forefront of this growing segment of the Black and atheist communities.

To learn more about Sikivu Hutchinson, please check out her book Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars.

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39 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Hera April 12, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    I think it is wonderful so many free-thinkers are finding their voice and speaking out for real truth…not the “truth” of religion (which is myth.) It’s about time that black people realize that if they are christians because of slavery and the fact is that slave masters forced this religion on us. We don’t even know our history or what religion we were before slavery, since the religious have destroyed our past. I hope more people wake up to the truth that the bible is fiction, jesus doesn’t exist and neither does the god of the bible. Please join our page on FB: http://www.facebook.com/BlackAtheists

  2. NotHavingIt March 27, 2013 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Black people are truly one of a kind. As soon as they get a few letters behind their name or a traumatic event happens, they completely forget about the God that has been here for them and their family before they were even thought of. Religion is definitely what helped the slaves get through their times of despair. Its just amazing to me that people can think that there isn’t a God. I guess the grass, sun, earth, and all living creations just popped out the sky one day. The devil has always been in human form. People need to really pay attention to whom they idolize and disregard.

    • deborah August 14, 2014 at 11:43 am - Reply

      I AM SPIRITUAL. I don’t believe in that white GOD. I don’t put my faith in preachers giving them all of my money. They are just mere people just as myself. I do believe in GOD but I am not religious. Who do Atheist call when they are in trouble. I need GOD in my life. In religion who really truly knows what the real religion is probably a little bit out of all of them except Satanism. But…… to not be aware that their is a force that runs this place and helps you in times of despair is crazy all you have to do is look around. GOD always comes to my rescue and I praise my GOD

  3. Jane March 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Religion is a joke BUT there is a god . I died n went straight to the light n saw deceased loved ones? I was a super sinner and they greater me from that light with open arms.

    It just so happens that it was not my time to die.

  4. jenn March 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much funky dineva for shinin a light on this. I am so grateful as a black freethinker.

  5. Andrea Friend via Facebook February 26, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Christians are so quick to send non believers to hell….most christians have NEVER read the bible in its entirety and they only quote the few scriptures that the pastor constantly reads….LOL How about yall be more christ like and leave the judgments to the sky daddy aka white jesus! LMAO

  6. Nicole Dunnigan Roberson via Facebook February 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Won’t be smiling on judgement day when God says I never knew you! And cast them in the lake of fire FOREVER! Smh! The devil is a lie and mother in law is too! Lol!

    • CupcakesRising February 25, 2013 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      Chances are if there is a heaven, you won’t be going so please stop with that foolishness. You’re entitled to your beliefs, but don’t try to force them on others or start condemning people. You are no god and you do not know where people will go for whatever reason.

    • Tika March 2, 2013 at 5:56 pm - Reply

      Imagine how much further you’d go in life if you spent more time worrying about your own salvation and checking yourself so that you avoid that lake of fire. I’m not a non-religious person. I believe there is a God but what other people do with their beliefs is none of my business.

  7. Loving Some Dineva February 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    “Religion is the opium of the people”(Karl Marx). Some people need religion and God to justify the ills of life, or to help them with their struggles. If it works for you then great. I just dont like when they try to impose their beliefs on others or tell others they are going to hell because they don’t follow your faith.

  8. Loving Some Dineva February 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Everyone has the right to believe whatevery they like in America. It’s called Religious Freedom.

  9. Dominique Cox-Harris February 25, 2013 at 6:22 am - Reply

    I’m a black Christian, a black Catholic at that. But I am as opened minded as they come. I think I have my church to thank for that. Our pastor is a firm believer in, let God do the Judging. We are here to do the loving. Because Jesus is love. My church kept me in my faith, when I was older and wanted to go to different church’s, the hate they were talking totally turned me away. So I can respect the atheist side of the coin, even more so being black. No person good deeds should be turned, based off there belief. Faith is a personal thing, it’s as personal as personal gets.

  10. Raina February 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you for highlighting Dr. Hutchinson and representing for black non-believers. For me and for many of us we cannot se past the glaring contradictions and illogical beliefs around religion and the idea of god. It is good that more of us are being open and challenging the privilege given to faith and religious climbs in the community and highlighting how the black community has been negatively impacted by religious institutions.

  11. Shae February 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    I have to say that everyone is entitled to their opinion but there wil be a time when the only name you can call is Jesus. At that time it won’t matter what color his skin is or is not. Yes there has been one too many scandalous situations in the mega churches and their leaders, I agree. But I could never deny or doubt that God is real. God loves you no matter what you are; gay ,straight, bisexual,transgender, cockeyed, or crazy,and I choose to love and accept everyone because of that.

  12. Tasha Thompson via Facebook February 24, 2013 at 4:01 am - Reply

    U need to believe!!!!Funky u could have saved this for someone who cares!

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  14. Tracey Patrick via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    you would think / hope we ALL as Black people would get a pass to “Heaven” if you aint hurting nobody to a death…after all or most of what we face / gone / go through in every country we’re in……….

  15. Janey Tate via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    *activism

  16. Janey Tate via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Well written. I respect her beliefs and we can agree to disagree on faith in God. I must commend her social activus and hope that we all do more of this regardless of our faith or the lack there of.

  17. Charlemange Fezza via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    Those of you stanning for white jesus, did you even read the article?

  18. Jannaye Talley via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    this is scary

    • Raina February 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm - Reply

      What makes this scary?

  19. azaleeeshe February 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Black agnostic here… I am very spiritual and believe in spirits (angels) but I don’t put a FACE/Name on God. thank you for Expanding your audience…being agnostic is the most Freeing feeling I have ever had…to adhere to your own moral code and standards…as well as being RESPONSIBLE for my life not blaming or accolading the Devil or Jesus/Allah/ etc….

    • Finding Forever February 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      I agree with you azaleeeshe…I was raised in a Christian home but as I got older and began to study for myself, I transitioned from Christianity to being agnostic…it was the most free I have ever felt!!!! In my opinion, religion is a tool of separation. Once you bust out of that box, there is no turning back.

  20. Kae Rich via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    Yeah u can live an honest and upright life without being christian which is more important than lipservice anyway. But god requires alot and.most ppl dont wabt to committ there lives to serve and live for him. Believing is easy living a christ centered christ like life is the hard part. But whateva floats ur boat. Judgement day is coming

  21. Kim Edwards via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    @ Kisha, so all black people have to be dark as night with nappy hair? That was an ignorant statement you made!

  22. Kae Rich via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    Not all black ppl going to heaven

  23. TraeKi February 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I like being a black atheist. “Christians” are too closed minded and Judgmental for me. I’ll leave everybody with this quote since blacks seem to forget history:

    “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

    Good Day!

    • Cooke February 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm - Reply

      I AGREE. Not to mention how obedient black people were when they were being rapes and robbed. Probably because they were brainwashed to praise a white Jesus.

    • Loving Some Dineva February 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      Also the Bible that they love to quote so much was used as a tool to put Blacks down and justify slavery.

  24. Kennimarie Bell via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Interesting post. The reality is that today people believe so differently and while you may not agree that is that persons choice. All religions stress that ones belief is based on their choice

  25. Azalee Eshe via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Agnostic here 🙂

  26. Tywana Brooks via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    True and not all black people go to heaven either. So glad I will be going 🙂

  27. Lemetria Whitehurst via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    yay! thanks for this post for those of us self-describes heathens!

  28. Kisha Harrelson via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Skin a lil light and hair to limp…im not so sure she is REALLY black!!! #ok bye

    • Loving Some Dineva February 25, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      #Ignorant

  29. Brashaa Hoy via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Raises hand high!!!!

  30. Patrice Douglass via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    I really appreciate your Black History posts Funky Dineva. Thank you 🙂

  31. Stephanie Boone via Facebook February 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    and there is nothing wrong with that.

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