Sikivu Hutchinson

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Hutchinson, speaking at the Center for Inquiry in 2010
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Sikivu Hutchinson is a secular humanist activist involved in the promotion of atheism, skepticism, and social justice issues such as feminism. She holds a Ph.D. in performance studies from New York University and has taught courses on women's studies, cultural studies, urban studies, and education at UCLA, the California Institute of the Arts, and Western Washington University. Her essays have been published in a number of magazines and online venues including Social Text, California English, Black Agenda Report, American Atheist Magazine, New Humanist, and She is also a commentator for the Pacifica Radio stations KPFK (Los Angeles) and WBAI (New York) and a contributor to Freethought Blogs' Black Skeptics blog.[1]

Moral Combat[edit]

In 2011, Hutchinson published Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars. The book looks at the intersection of religion, secularism, race, gender, sexual orientation, and class in America. Hutchinson explains how black churches provided a bulwark against white supremacy and a means of organization and mobilization during the Civil Rights era. However, she criticizes black churches for their shift in political orientation during recent times. According to Hutchinson, many black religious leaders have hopped in bed with the Religious Right, promoting anti-abortion and anti-LGBT policies and perpetuating sexism and homophobia. She discusses how renouncing religion is seen as renouncing the black identity within the African-American community and calls for secular humanist organizations to help fill the role that these churches once played in promoting social justice. She also criticizes the new atheists for their scientism, which blinds them to a number of social and political issues surrounding religion and helps to reproduce oppressive hierarchies within secular movements.[2] Hutchinson has reiterated these criticisms in a number of articles and essays.[3][4][5]

Godless Americana[edit]

Godless Americana, published in 2013, is an exploration of recent social trends in religion. It concentrates on the relationship between right-wing evangelical Christianity and the Black church. Hutchinson argues that a right-wing backlash is driving more people of color to renounce religion altogether.


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