As African Americans faced first slavery and then Jim Crow, they nestled in the black church as a haven. In the 1950s and ’60s, blacks congregated to fight legal oppression. In The Color of Christ, American religion historians Edward Blum and Paul Harvey argue that blacks and whites were once unified under the mantle of Christianity in efforts to combat societal vice and ills. Yet in more recent decades, black religiosity has shifted.
Though many within the black community continue to showcase their religious conservatism, others have slowly drifted away.
The number of atheist or agnostic student groups on U.S. campuses has more than doubled in the past two years—from 80 to 162—according to the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), the national organization for the secular student movement.