Join us on sunday 13 february as Christopher Cameron takes us exploring the origins of black freethought among 19th century slaves, many of whom could not reconcile notions of a loving God with their condition on Earth, and the intersection of freethought with twentieth century cultural and political movements such as the Harlem Renaissance, radical leftist politics, and the Black Power movement. Cameron argues that religious skepticism was prevalent among some of the most prominent voices in African American history, including Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, A. Phillip Randolph, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Huey Newton, and Alice Walker.
Christopher Cameron is Professor of History and Interim Chair of the Africana Studies department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He was the founding president of the African American Intellectual History Society. Cameron received his BA in History from Keene State College and his MA and PhD in American History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research and teaching interests include early American history, the history of slavery and abolition, and African American religious and intellectual history. Cameron is the author of To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement (Kent State University Press 2014) and Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism (Northwestern University Press 2019). Cameron is also the co-editor of Race, Religion, and Black Lives Matter: Essays on a Moment and a Movement (Vanderbilt University Press, 2021) and New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press 2018). His current book project, entitled Liberal Religion and Race in America, explores the intersection of race and liberal religion dating back to the mid-18th century and the varied ways that liberal theology has informed African American religion and politics in the 20th and 21st centuries.