Atheists of Color: A List

Popular atheist blogger Greta Christina compiles a list of prominent atheists and humanists of color—all working to elevate the freethought movement.This article first appeared on Greta Christina’s Blog; used with permission.
So here it is, as promised — a list of prominent atheists of color.And, since it seemed relevant — here, also, is a list of organizations of atheists of color, and atheist organizations predominantly focused on/ participated in by people of color.If you’re helping to organize an atheist conference, and you want your conference to be more diverse and more reflective of the makeup of the atheist community? If you’re an atheist writer or activist, and you want your quotations/ citations/ blogroll/ etc. to be more diverse and more reflective of the makeup of the atheist community? If you’re simply part of the atheist community/ movement, and you want to be more familiar with the work of a wider range of atheists, a range that’s more diverse and more reflective of the makeup of the atheist community? Hopefully, this list will help.

A couple of quick notes before the list itself. First, and very importantly: This is a work in progress, and I’ll be updating it regularly. So please feel free to make suggestions. If there are people who aren’t on this list who you think should be, or people who are on the list but you think shouldn’t be (because they’re not self-acknowledged atheists, for instance) — or if there’s information on the list that’s inaccurate or incomplete — please let me know, either in the comments, or by emailing me at greta (at) gretachristina (dot) com. And if you yourself are on this list and want me to either remove you or correct/ update your information, please let me know.

Second: This is not intended to be a list of famous atheists of color throughout history. That would certainly be a useful project — but it’s not this project. This is meant to be a list of atheists of color who are alive and active now.

Third: I do not want to get into an argument here about why we need this list, or how we should just be color blind and ignore race altogether. In a perfect world, maybe we wouldn’t need it. We don’t live in a perfect world. Among other things, well- meaning people can unconsciously perpetuate racial bias without intending to, and we need to take conscious action to counter this unconscious tendency.

Finally: Yes, I’m aware of the ironies and potential pitfalls of a white person compiling and publishing this list. Most obviously and most seriously, I know that it’s problematic for a white person to be the “gatekeeper” of a list like this. Any time a list like this gets compiled, decisions have to be made about who to include and who not to include, and I get that it’s problematic for a white person to be the one making those decisions. If a list like this already existed, compiled by a person of color, I’d just link to it and publicize the hell out it. But I asked a whole bunch of people of all races if they knew of such a list, and nobody did, and the general response was, “Yeah, that’d be useful, someone should really do that, HINT HINT.” The general sentiment seemed to be that it would be really, really good for a list like this to exist on the ‘Net, and that I should just go ahead and do it already.

So I’m dealing with this potential pitfall in two ways. One: When in doubt, I’m erring on the side of inclusion. I did decide against some people whose names had been suggested (mostly bloggers who haven’t updated in months, plus some people who don’t seem to self-identify as atheist). But for the most part, if I was on the fence about including someone, I went ahead and included them.

So here it is, as promised — a list of prominent atheists of color.


  • Mina Ahadi, founder of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims (Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime) and the International Committee against Stoning
  • Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of Infidel and Nomad, activist, politician, founder of the AHA Foundation
  • Norm Allen, author of African American Humanism and Black Secular Humanist Thought, editor-in-chief of Human Prospect: A Neo-Humanist Perspective, secretary of Paul Kurtz’s Institute for Science and Human Values, former head of African Americans for Humanism
  • Apanage21, blogger
  • Maggie Ardiente, director of development and communications, American Humanist Association; editor of Humanist Network News (AHA’s weekly e-zine)
  • Homa Arjomand, coordinator of the International Campaign Against Shari’a Court in Canada
  • Hector Avalos, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Iowa State University, speaker/ debater, author of The End of Biblical Studies, Strangers in Our Own Land: Religion in U.S. Latina/o Literature, Se puede saber si Dios existe? [Can One Know if God Exists?], and more
  • Donald Barbera, author of Black But Not Baptist: Nonbelief and Freethought in the Black Community
  • Dan Barker, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation, author of several books, including Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists and The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God
  • Jamila Bey, atheist comedian and journalist
  • Naima Cabelle, atheist activist and member of Washington Area Secular Humanists
  • Ian Cromwell, musician and blogger, The Crommunist Manifesto
  • Sanal Edamaruku, author and paranormal investigator, founder-president of Rationalist International, president of the Indian Rationalist Association, creator of The Great Tantra Challenge
  • Afshin Ellian, columnist for Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad and Elsevier; blogger; poet; law professor at University of Leiden
  • Reginald Finley, founder of Infidel Guy radio show
  • Mercedes Diane Griffin, blogger/ activist
  • Debbie Goddard, campus outreach coordinator at the Center for Inquiry, speaker, head of African Americans for Humanism
  • Jacques L. Hamel, Scientific Affairs Officer with United Nations, international science and technology policy expert
  • Zee Harrison, blogger, Black Woman Thinks
  • Mark Hatcher, founder of Secular Students at Howard University
  • Sabri Husibi, speaker, Tulsa Atheist Group
  • Sikivu Hutchinson, writer and editor, author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and Secular America, editor of, Senior Fellow for the Institute for Humanist Studies
  • Leo Igwe, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Nigeria
  • David Ince, a.k.a. Caribatheist, blogger, No Religion Know Reason
  • JeansTake, video blogger
  • McKinley Jones, president, Black American Free Thought Association (BAF/TA)
  • Alix Jules, chair of diversity committee on the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition for Reason
  • Kenan Malik, writer, lecturer, blogger, and BBC Radio broadcaster, author of Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its Legacy, Strange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate, and more
  • Derrick Alaiyo McMahon, gay/ feminist/atheist blogger, The Anti-Intellect Blog
  • Hemant Mehta, blogger at Friendly Atheist, author of I Sold My Soul on eBay
  • Ian Andreas Miller, blogger, Diaphanitas
  • Jeffrey “Atheist Walking” Mitchell, atheist street philosopher and member of Black Skeptics
  • Micheal Mpagi, blogger, Quitstorm
  • Maryam Namaziem, rights activist, commentator and broadcaster on Iran, rights, cultural relativism, secularism, religion, political Islam and other related topics; spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
  • Taslima Nasreen, author and activist
  • Ramendra Nath, professor and author; head of Department of Philosophy, Patna College, Patna University; author of Why I Am Not a Hindu, Is God Dead?, The Myth of Unity of All Religions, and more
  • First Nation, blogger, Native Skeptic
  • Kwadwo Obeng, author, We Are All Africans
  • Adebowale Ojuro, author of Crisis of Religion
  • Charone Paget, producer/host of LAMBDA Radio Report, WRFG, Atlanta; on leadership team of Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta; founder of Queer and Atheist of Atlanta
  • Ernest Parker, leader of African Americans for Humanism DC
  • Anthony Pinn, author of numerous books on humanism, head of Institute for Humanist Studies, Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University
  • Bwambale Robert, founder, Kasese Humanist Primary School
  • Sid Rodrigues, scientist, researcher, organizer of Skeptics in the Pub
  • Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things and more, activist
  • Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, Midnight’s Children, Luka and the Fire of Life, Grimus, and more
  • Amartya Sen, Nobel-prize winning economist
  • Alom Shaha, science teacher, film-maker, and writer
  • Labi Siffre, poet and songwriter
  • Simon Singh, author, journalist, TV producer, libel reform activist
  • Greydon Square, atheist rapper and spoken word artist
  • Wafa Sultan, author and critic of Islam and Islamic theocracy
  • David Suzuki, scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster; co-founder of the environmentalist David Suzuki Foundation
  • Red Tani, Filipino Freethinkers
  • Mandisa Lateefah Thomas, co-founder, Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta
  • Maria Walters, a.k.a. Masala Skeptic, blogger, Skepchick
  • Ayanna Watson, founder of Black Atheists of America
  • Wrath James White, author, blogger at Godless and Black
  • Clarence Williams, author of Truth
  • Donald Wright, author of The Only Prayer I’ll Ever Pray: Let My People Go
  • Zhiyah, writer/blogger, The Affirmative Atheist

Greta Christina writes about atheism and skepticism for Greta Christina’s Blog and was recently ranked as one of the Top Ten most popular atheist bloggers. Her writings have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Ms. Magazine, and the anthology Everything You Know About God is Wrong. She lives in San Francisco with her wife, Ingrid.