Regardless of what some supernaturalists say atheism is not a religion. Some equate a non-belief in something as being equal to or the same as a belief in something. That isn't correct.
The problem with atheism is it does not fit neatly into a box, nor is there an organic group to which all atheists belong.
In my experience there is an incredible amount of fear within the black community, especially in the USA. The reality is if you are black and mention your non-belief you risk losing your job, being ostracised by your family, losing any support from the community, etc. People are fearful that theists will cut them off from their own community.
I have received comments from people who are 'closet atheists' and they are unable to discuss their true feelings and views with their loved ones. The church has such a strangle-hold on the community that is impossible to function well without their approval.
I'm beginning to understand that atheism equates to communism - such nasty, horrible things happened to people in the USA who were outed, some erroneously, as communists. 'Hitler was an atheist', is just one pathetic refrain spouted by those drowning in complete ignorance. Generations of American citizens were raised in an environment of fear. The downsides of not conforming to the will and wishes of the powers that be were evident for all to see.
The conditions which existed for white Americans added and compounded the problems within the black community. The black churches preached conformity to the rule of god. Black people were clearly less empowered than they are now. But we are at a point where a backward country, with backward leadership, a largely ignorant populace and with well-thumbed bibles are leading the charge further down the road of regression.
Black people are frightened, petrified that their lives will change for the worse if they 'admit' to being non-believers. Black people who are disaffected with one black church will take a bit of time out and find another one - Barack Obama, as an example. Some people in churches don't actually believe and see through the charade, the pointless rituals and symbols that is the 'church' and yet still go through the motions because the alternatives would be too much for them to bear.
It takes enormous guts and self-will to place yourself in a position where the whole community will treat you as a pariah and still stand strong and firm in your decision.
But the greatest loss is for America herself. The numbers of black people who believe in the unbelievable stories such as creationism, Noah's ark and the like and totally reject anything scientific is disheartening. How many people attend theology colleges currently? Imagine how much more advanced the USA would be if half of those attending theology colleges and seminaries worked and studied within the scientific fields. What kind of a different USA would there be? What kind of a different world would there be? To spend all that money, all those hours, all that energy promoting fictitious characters is appalling.
My focus on the USA is mainly due to my residency in the region for a short while. The USA is a huge country and her policies have immense impact on large areas of the world. As a world leader, it is my view that the USA should move towards progress.
The UK can't do it - a poxy little country, chomping at the bit, wailing about its lost empire. A confused people who claim to be secular yet bow and scrape to an outdated, gluttonous, monarchy - a truly democratic system! Sometimes you have to step away from your circumstance to really see the whole picture.
So, if the next black person wants to discuss religion and spout about how good god is and all the rest of it then I am going to be so completely frank. I will not be kind and bite my lip - I refuse to respect a system, a regime, a poisonous system that has not advanced humans one little bit. The time for the kid-gloves has passed - eons ago. There is no problem with atheism. None at all.