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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

African Americans are among the most religious groups in the United States. Consequently, secular humanism and atheism are largely anathema to mainstream African Americans. Nonetheless, secular humanist and atheist traditions have coexisted with religious traditions in African American social thought and community as a progressive political and cultural counterweight to black religious orthodoxy. Radical or progressive humanism is specifically concerned with the liberation struggle of disenfranchised peoples. Organized religion is one of many powerful forces solidifying inequity based on race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. Racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism are amplified and reinforced by economic injustice institutionalized under global capitalism. Hence, humanism is especially relevant for people of color living in conditions of structural inequality in which the state serves only the human rights of the wealthy.

Keywords: African Americans, secular humanism, atheism, feminism, civil rights

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