Blacks say atheists were unseen civil rights heroes

. . . A strain of unbelief runs across African-American history, said Anthony Pinn, a Rice University professor and author of a book about African-American humanists. He points to figures like Hubert Henry Harrison, an early 20th- century activist who equated religion with slavery, and W.E.B. DuBois, founder of the NAACP, who was often critical of black churches.

Lorraine HansberryRichard WrightLangston Hughes— they were all critical of belief in God,” Pinn said. “They provided a foundation for nontheistic participation in social struggle.”

But they are often ignored in the narrative of American history, sacrificed to the myth that the achievements of the civil rights movement were the accomplishments of religious — mainly Christian — people. . . .

African American Atheists

Sunday’s [annual] “Day of Solidarity for Black Nonbelievers”, will include a remembrance of African-American atheists of the past, including:

James Baldwin (1924-1987), poet, playwright, civil rights activist
W.E.B DuBois (1868-1963), co-founder of the NAACP
Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965), playwright and journalist
Hubert Henry Harrison (1883-1927), activist, educator, writer
A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979), labor organizer
Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), journalist and historian
Richard Wright (1908-1960), novelist and author

Read more . . .