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.