This is my second Read This Week post. This post includes interesting articles that I think you should check out. To see last week’s Read This Week, click here.
This week’s articles are some really interesting ones that discuss Blackness and atheism. Statistically, most Black people identifiy as “highly” religious and Christian. This is a fact. More Blacks than Whites identify this way. More women than men identify this way. Cross section this and naturally more Black women identify this way over any other race and gender combination.
However, more and more Black people are starting to identify as (or have for a long time/always have and are speaking about it publicily…coming out of a closet, so to speak) agnostic, skeptic, secular humanist and atheist. I am interested in these experiences and stories. These experiences and stories are just as “Black” to me as religious ones.
The Unbelievers was in The New York Times at the end of last year. I found this line from the article exceptionally interesting: “I have some colleagues and friends who identify as culturally Christian in a way similar to ethnic Jews,” said Josef Sorett, a religion professor at Columbia University. “They may go to church because that’s the church their family attends, but they don’t necessarily subscribe to the beliefs of Christianity.”
Black Atheist - The Red Tape Edition by one of my Twitter followers, @rev_xavier, is really interesting. He challenges notions of race/gender and how they are perceived by atheists who try the same old “I am colourblind” nonsense in the way that many theists do. It’s a good read. His whole blog is interesting and is in my blog roll (on my actual blog page…you won’t see it in the Tumblr dashboard).
Return of The Welfare Queens - Feminism, Secularism and Anti-Racism by Sikvu Hutchinson (a Black woman atheist and secular feminist) is a really in-depth and interesting article that is a must read. Her level of critical thought and dissection of intersectionality is awe-inspiring.
And finally, Our Father Is Not In Heaven - The New Black Atheism by Cord Jefferson on Gawker is the newest of all of these articles. I just read this one a few days ago. The author presents some interesting points. He points out how historically the church wasn’t just a worship house but a point for critical political activism. At the same time, he juxtaposes how religious voices are used as authoritative ones for Black people, but no one would contact Joel Osteen to “dissect the problems facing all White Americans.” Valid. He also writes, ” I’d like to make a formal nomination: I nominate astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson as the black leader America needs in the 21st Century.” I can’t argue with that. I totally and completely Stan for Neil deGrasse Tyson. He has a beautiful mind.
Anyway, these are all interesting reads and are my Read This Week recommendations. Stay tuned for next week’s recommendations!