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African American Atheists and Political LiberationA Study of the Sociocultural Dynamics of Faith$
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Michael Lackey

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780813030357

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813030357.001.0001

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Frantz Fanon and J. Saunders Redding

Frantz Fanon and J. Saunders Redding

The Psychological and Political Necessity of Atheism

(p.17) 1 Frantz Fanon and J. Saunders Redding
African American Atheists and Political Liberation

Michael Lackey

University Press of Florida

This chapter provides a theoretical framework that clarifies Kabnis's puzzling observation and odd remark “God, does not exist but nevertheless He is ugly. Hence, what comes from Him is ugly.” This chapter focuses on the works and writings of Frantz Fanon and J. Saunders Redding, the inspiration for the theoretical framework introduced in this chapter. Frantz Fanon and J. Saunders Redding are two atheists who think that the primary function of God is to justify racial oppression. For Fanon and Redding, it is when the God concept functions at the level of the subconscious that it is most destructive for culturally designated inferiors. For them to become human, particularly those of African descent, they must take their humanity. This taking presupposes an atheistic orientation toward knowledge and language. Whereas the believer claims personhood through faith-based epistemology, the atheist does not think that the believer has an epistemological access to a God-created truth. Atheists claim that knowledge is pyschosemiotic projection within a political context. For the atheists, becoming human means having the political freedom to define and name oneself and the freedom to construct oneself as a human. And to project oneself as a human, it is necessary to kill God as it is the God concept that allows those in power to control concepts such as humanness and prevent certain groups from achieving political freedom to act as human.

Keywords:   God, Frantz Fanon, J. Saunders Redding, atheists, racial oppression, God concept, political freedom

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