Episode 66 :: Sikivu Hutchinson :: Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars

| May 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

Sikivu Hutchinson

Author and educator Sikivu Hutchinson speaks with us about her book, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars.

We struggle with the word “atheism” in our culture. It’s an emotionally charged concept for many, conflicting with dearly held beliefs about the nature of existence, morality, and the divine. For others, it’s just an accurate decription of our outlook on religion. We are simply a-theist, without any belief in dieties.

Something that’s been noticed in our atheist and skeptical communities lately, and this has been questioned more and more, is that the diversity of our overall society is not represented in our atheist and skeptical groups. The conferences we have show a noticeable lack of representation by people of color, and usually the “flagship speakers” are white, middle-ish aged, and male. That’s starting to change as more attention is brought to bear, and that as critical thinkers, we know there are segments of our culture that are not here with us.

We’ve had wonderful talks with Spring Washam and Faith Adiele about this on the podcast from a more Buddhist perspective, but we’ve yet to address it specifically from the non-religious side. So it was my great joy to discover the book Moral Combat, which examines not only the issues of ethnic diversity in our non-religious communities, but how religious institutions have promoted discriminatory practices in their own communities of color.

Sikivu Hutchinson is a writer and intergroup specialist for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. She received a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University and has taught women’s studies, cultural studies, urban studies and education at UCLA, the California Institute of the Arts and Western Washington University. She is the author of Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles (Lang, 2003) and has published fiction, essays and critical theory in Social Text, California English, Black Agenda Report and American Atheist Magazine. She is a Senior Fellow with the Institute for Humanist Studies.

:: Discuss this episode ::



Web Links


Music for This Episode


Chikuzen Shakuhachi Series

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from the Chikuzen Shakuhachi Series, Volume 1, courtesy of Tai Hei Shakuhachi. The tracks used in this episode are:

  • Track 8 :: Tamuke

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Book Reviews, The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.