Black atheists are relatively hard to come by. Even more rare, however, are the black atheists and agnostics accepted by their family despite their lack of religious faith.
Click the image above to learn their stories.
Sean Austin said his family’s relationship changed when he told them he did not believe in God.
Austin told his family last Christmas, two years after he stopped believing in God. “They were extremely disappointed,” Austin said, who described his family as very religious. “All through Christmas Eve, Christmas day … the entire break we were having arguments constantly.”
“They were disappointed that I had given up faith so easily,” Austin said. “They assumed I was being weak. They thought they had raised me wrong.”
Austin is a junior at DePaul University where he is a member of the DePaul Alliance for Freethought, a group for students who do not believe in or question God’s existence. Austin said he had never met another black atheist before he came to college.
Austin is a minority of a minority, one of the growing number of African-Americans to profess their disbelief in God.