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Sikivu Hutchinson

  • Located in Los Angeles, CA
  • Sikivu Hutchinson is the author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars;¬†Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels;White Nights, Black Paradise, a novel on Peoples Temple and the Jonestown Massacre.
  • She is the founder of Black Skeptics Los Angeles, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and a Senior Fellow for the Institute for Humanist Studies. The Black Skeptics Group sponsors annual First in the Family Humanist scholarship awards.
  • She is also the project director of the Women's Leadership Project feminist humanist mentoring program.
  • Writer and director of White Nights, Black Paradise: The Film
  • Recipient of the SSA Backbone Award in 2016
  • Recipient of the Foundation Beyond Belief "Humanist Innovator" Award
Sikivu has written extensively on the politics of atheism and secular humanism and its implications for African Americans. For black atheists, actively breaking with religious tradition is an even graver rejection than that of white intellectuals galvanized by the work of Hitchens or Dawkins. This is partly due to the fact that the history of African American civil and human rights resistance is heavily steeped in Judeo-Christian religious dogma. Sikivu's work explores the tensions that exist in African American culture around living a moral life beyond the boundaries of organized religion. She has addressed the role secularism/atheism plays in shaping contemporary black perspectives on such issues as abortion, intimate partner violence and same-sex marriage, the particular challenges of "coming out" as an atheist female of color and how the cultural knowledge and lived experience of atheists and secular humanists of color "nuance" the conversation around American atheism.
Some of Sikivu's articles and interviews:
  • The "problem" of coming out for black atheists and building humanist communities of color
  • The political rise of the Religious Right and its Black Church allies
  • Youth of color perspectives on organized religion & non-theism
  • Race/gender politics & Eurocentrism in the humanist & atheist movements: why science worship doesn't work for people of color
  • Women's rights and humanism: anti-racism, anti-sexism and anti-heterosexism as a humanist stance
  • Anti-choice media propaganda and the policing of women's bodies

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