Shades of Black Atheism #8: Mythology Lover, Vance Salley

Although 38-year-old Vance Salley of North Carolina is an atheist now, that hasn’t always been the case. With an Islamic father and a Catholic-raised mother, there was confusion growing up. He says now that although he believed in a “higher power,” deist may have been the most accurate description of his beliefs until he reached the age of 15. It was at that time that he became interested in reading about Egyptian, Greek, and Norse mythology. [Read more…]

Shades of Black Atheism #7: Haitian, Former Catholic Emelyne Museaux

Born in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti, where only 1% of the population are “nones,” Emelyne Museaux was raised in the Catholic religious tradition, just like the majority of her friends and neighbors. She elaborated on this fact: [Read more…]

Shades of Black Atheism #6: Harlem Native, Regi Metcalf

I’ve been eager to post this interview with Regi Metcalf because he feels quite differently than I do about race and diversity-focused groups. This is, after all, about the “shades” of black atheism. Although most agree that black culture has an especially high level of religiosity, we don’t all agree on how to counter that, or if it’s even necessary to. [Read more…]

Shades of Black Atheism #5: Baptist-Turned-Atheist, Nicome Taylor

Nicome Taylor is a California native, with a religious background rooted in the Baptist Church. Now 30, she admits that this type of upbringing had a great impact on her worldviews especially during times of hardship. Her grandmother’s principles and values were heavily influenced by the Bible and her southern roots laid the Christian foundation that would be adhered to by her children as well as her grandchildren.

Nicome’s mother battled with kidney failure, so having faith in “God’s promise” of an afterlife played a significant role in her life. Knowing that her mother’s condition was temporary, that in the next life she would be pain-free, she had peace of mind. When Nicome was only 17 and her mother passed away, this is what she clung to. Still, like so many theists, she struggled to understand why God would allow her mother to die instead of healing her illness. [Read more…]

Shades of Black Atheism #4: The Story of a Trans Man, G. Andrews

G. Andrews, also known as Flexx, is a 31-year-old trans man living in Miami, Florida. He* is the youngest child in his family and was the only one designated female at birth. His father’s side of the family is from Grenada, West Indies, and his mother’s side is multi-racial (French, Irish and African), hailing from Virginia. [Read more…]