BBC World Service Explores ‘Atheists in Black America’

This weekend, BBC World Service is airing an audio segment on “Atheists in Black America.”

Today, many African-Americans see anything short of embracing religion as not just heretical but a denial of one’s very blackness.

But there are a growing number of African-Americans who openly don’t believe in God or the church.

We find out how they are trying to make their voices heard and seeking acceptance in their community.

The segment’s about 23 minutes long. A lot of familiar names are interviewed, and it’s a very well-done piece. I can’t embed it, but carve out some time to listen to this!

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Silo Mowbray

    “If you’re a black Christian, you have a real short memory.” – Chris Rock

  • Matthew Baker

    The mother towards the end of the interview amazingly held to the most common myths about Atheism–”they really believe in God they are just acting out”, atheism = Satan worship, how can they be moral etc. Normally you get one or two but she seem to have the whole Pokemon got to catch them all  mentality.

  • Gwen

    I am a black middle aged atheist. As was my mother and her brother before me. As are my children. We each figured out religion was nonsensical on our own

  • cathouseumbrella

    Yeah, I found listening to the mother kind of infuriating to be honest.

  • Xeon2000

    You hear so often how pivotal the church was in securing equality, it was interesting to hear the bit about pivotal black historical figures and their criticism of the church. Maybe some of the past freedom fighters really were atheists.