Christopher Cameron

On this date in 1983, historian Christopher Cameron was born on a U.S. Army base in Heidelberg, Germany, where his mother Sylvie Cameron was stationed. The oldest of five children, he grew up primarily in New Hampshire, where his Catholic and French-Canadian family had migrated to in the early 1960s.

What little religious upbringing he had revolved mostly around attending midnight Mass on Christmas Eve or Mass on Easter. That changed soon after he was incarcerated in 2001 on multiple drug charges and he became a born-again Christian, although after release he rarely if ever attended church.

Studying the works of Jiddu Krishnamurti, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and other philosophers and secular writers during his years in graduate school led to his embrace of atheism. He received his B.A. in history from Keene State College in New Hampshire and his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cameron is a scholar of atheism and freethought more broadly as well as being an atheist. As a professor of history at UNC-Charlotte, he teaches courses on freethought, American intellectual history and African American history. He was the founding president 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” (2014) and “Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism” (2019). He co-edited “New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition” (2018) and “Race, Religion, and Black Lives Matter: Essays on a Moment and a Movement” (2021).

Cameron lives in Charlotte with his wife Shanice, his oldest child Cassidy and his twins Caleb and Callie. His speech to FFRF’s 2021 convention attendees is here.

Freedom From Religion Foundation