Religion is something that is deeply ingrained into black culture. Most black people—especially entertainers, come from a Christian background. This is evident at every award show, when the first thing award recipients do is thank God when accepting an award. Religion is such a part of the culture that people often think there’s no such thing as a black atheist. However, there are some celebrities who don’t believe in Jesus or God – at least not in an orthodox way.
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most famous black actors of all times. However, he doesn’t attribute his talents to God. When asked if he thought his talents were God-given Jackson replied: “No, because I work at it. I still learn, I read.“
Chris Rock could be one of the top comedians of all time. While he comes from a Christian background, Chris now seems to be anti-religious. He’s even gone as far as to compare religion to slavery, stating: “A black Christian is like a black person with no memory.”
Morgan Freeman is probably the most ironic person on the list, being that he’s played God in a movie several times, yet he’s not a believer. When an interviewer made the mistake and assumed that he was a man of God, Freeman responded: “When did I say I was a ‘man of god’? …[I am a man of] faith! There’s a big difference… We take a lot of what we’re talking about in science on faith. We posit a theory… and until it’s disproven, we have faith that it’s true. If the mathematics work out, then it’s true. Until it’s proven to be untrue. Freeman does seem to believe in the power of “belief” but not in a higher power.”
Tyler The Creator has some Christian upbringing, yet Tyler completely disassociates himself from religion. He actually says he “hates religion stating that: “[Religion] keeps people in a box and won’t allow them to do what the f*ck they want.” And as far as Jesus, Tyler has even harsher words. When asked about Jesus Tyler simply responded: “That n*gga ain’t real!” Wow!
Robin Quivers has agreed with her talk show host, Howard Stern, a few times on the topic of God. She even confirms her position, saying she “doesn’t believe there’s a god.” Based on the fact that she’s been on the Howard Stern show for decades this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as it would be hard for her to reconcile good Christian morals with what takes place on that show.
John Legend definitely has a Christian background, but he seems to have lost touch with it. Legend’s lyrics often question why God allows so much suffering. As far as his own faith, John seems to nowadays take the good things from his past, but has done away with others. As he puts it: “You know I have my issues with faith nowadays. I grew up in a religious home, but I’m not religious right now. But I’m trying to get back in touch with the things that were good about the faith that I grew up with.”
Donald Glover. The rapper/comedian grew up a Jehovah’s witness, but based on feeling weird about his faith as a child, he has disassociated himself. Glover calls himself an “airport atheist,” meaning he might pray when there’s turbulence on a plane.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, is probably the smartest person on this list. The astrophysicist and science communicator who is a wildly claim by atheists is actually an agnostic. Tyson, a man who studies the universe extensively, just doesn’t see how it could be ruled by a loving God, saying: “Every account of a higher power that I’ve seen described, of all religions that I’ve seen, include many statements with regard to the benevolence of that power. When I look at the universe and all the ways the universe wants to kill us, I find it hard to reconcile that with statements of beneficence.” He also claims that many religious predictions throughout history have been wrong, saying: “Whenever people have used religious documents to make accurate predictions about the physical world they have been famously wrong.”