Respectability Among Heathens: Black Feminist Atheist Humanists

  • Sikivu Hutchinson


In a culture in which black women have some of the highest rates of religious observance, black feminist atheist humanists face multiple challenges. Historically, slave-era misogynist and racist stereotypes have marked black femininity as threatening, hypersexual and other. These toxic images of black femininity reinforce the drive toward a respectability politics based on faith, heteronormative gender roles and patriarchal family structures. Although black feminist atheist humanist praxis might fundamentally “disrupt” binaries of gender, race and sexuality, black women non-believers still struggle to create viable alternatives to faith in hyper-segregated communities of color where organized religion provides social welfare infrastructure, political solidarity and visibility.


Black women Black feminist Atheist Humanist Respectability politics 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sikivu Hutchinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Humanist StudiesLos AngelesUSA

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