Black nonbelief expert on “Freethought Matters” this Sunday

Christopher Cameron

 The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s first episode in the new year of its TV talk show challenges the stereotype of African-American religiosity.

Christopher Cameron, who teaches history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has done groundbreaking research showing that there have been many Black skeptics, doubters, agnostics and atheists in America since the early years of our country. Cameron is the founder of the African American Intellectual History Society. He’s the author of To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement and co-editor of New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition. Cameron’s newest book, the subject of this week’s talk show, is Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism.

“Encountering blog posts on Hubert Harrison or W.E.B. Du Bois or Zora Neale Hurston — it really opened my eyes,” Cameron tells “Freethought Matters” co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor about what prompted his research into Black freethought. “And it just got me thinking that there was a lot more here than at least scholars of African-American religion had written about.” Tune in to learn more about some of the leading voices of freethought and the history of Black rejection of religion, including during enslavement.

If you don’t live in the 27 percent of the country’s markets where the show broadcasts on Sunday, you can already catch the interview on FFRF’s YouTube channel.

This is the fall season’s 19th episode of “Freethought Matters,” airing in 12 cities on Sunday, Jan. 3.

Shows in the new year will include interviews with two courageous individuals who’ve recently taken and won state/church lawsuits with FFRF; a member of the Congressional Freethought Caucus; Bangladeshi-American secular activist Bonya Ahmed; Public Religion Research Institute founder Robert P. Jones, author of White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity; and the distinguished British philosopher A.C. Grayling.

“Freethought Matters” airs in:

  • Chicago, WPWR-CW (Ch. 50), Sundays at 9 a.m.
  • Denver, KWGN-CW (Ch. 2), Sundays at 7 a.m.
  • Houston, KUBE-IND (Ch. 57), Sundays at 9 a.m.
  • Los Angeles, KCOP-MY (Ch. 13), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Madison, Wis., WISC-TV (Ch. 3), Sundays at 11 p.m.
  • Minneapolis, KSTC-IND (Ch. 45), Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
  • New York City, WPIX-IND (Ch. 11), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Phoenix, KASW-CW (Ch. 61, or 6 or 1006 for HD), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
  • Portland, Ore., KRCW-CW (Ch. 32), Sundays at 9 a.m. Comcast channel 703 for High Def, or Channel 3.
  • Sacramento, KQCA-MY (Ch. 58), Sundays at 8:30 a.m.
  • San Francisco, KICU-IND (Ch. 36), Sundays at 10 a.m.
  • Seattle, KONG-IND (Ch. 16 or Ch. 106 on Comcast). Sundays at 8 a.m.
  • Washington, D.C., WDCW-CW (Ch. 50), Sundays at 8 a.m.

Previous guests from the fall season included: pundit Eleanor Clift, whose interview you can watch here, actor and FFRF After-Life Member John de Lancie of “Star Trek” “Q” fame, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Linda Greenhouse, the country’s leading analyst of the U.S. Supreme Court, and legislative stalwart and feminist and civil rights pioneer U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton. One of the most eminent public intellectuals in the world, Professor Steven Pinker, was interviewed a few episodes ago talking about his new course on rationality. Legendary TV host, actor and singer John Davidson was the guest in early December. And recently the show featured Ann Druyan, the co-creator of “Cosmos,” possibly the most acclaimed TV series of all time.

Watch previous seasons here, including interviews with Ron Reagan, Julia Sweeney and Ed Asner, as well as U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman and Jamie Raskin, co-chairs of the Congressional Freethought Caucus.

Please tune in to “Freethought Matters” . . . because freethought matters.

P.S. Please tune in or record according to the times given above regardless of what is listed in your TV guide (it may be listed simply as “paid programming” or even be misidentified). To set up an automatic weekly recording, try taping manually by time or channel. And spread the word to freethinking friends, family or colleagues about a TV show, finally, that is dedicated to providing programming for freethinkers!

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.

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