black atheists-billboard*Billboards featuring famous Black American skeptics are part of a national Black History Month campaign by African Americans for Humanism, says Like all billboards addressing religion, the response has been mixed.

Baptists in Dallas are countering the message by emphasizing cultural ties to Christianity among African Americans. The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention reported:

SBTC President Terry Turner said the history and culture of blacks in the United States has been tied, not to religion generally, but to Christianity particularly. In November, Turner became the first African American elected to lead the convention.

“All we had was tied into our faith, our Christianity,” said Turner, pastor of Mesquite Friendship Baptist Church, referring to the traumatic history of blacks in America.“When it comes to our relationship with God, our history shows we have been able to love the Lord in our own way.”

Dallas-area atheist leader Alix Jules, who is pictured on a billboard with Langston Hughes, said he has been ostracized from family and community for his non-belief, but has found a new community among freethinkers.

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