Another reader can relate to the thread:
I identify with your reader’s point that being a black atheist can be leave one feeling an outsider, particularly in social situations where people have a tendency to attribute life’s ups and down to “his will.” However, I wonder about him attributing his lack of black friends to his atheism. I am a black atheist from a Catholic family, but being raised in a largely segregated black community (Chicago), I am very familiar with the conventional black church. Though I don’t believe in God myself, I do understand and appreciate to role of the church and religion historically played in the lives of my people – but I am also wary about its influence.
Ironically, I came to atheism through my acceptance of conservatism, beginning in my senior year of high school and solidified as an undergraduate at Howard University. Specifically, I rejected a belief in God in conjunction with my rejection of the traditional civil rights style of politics. After numerous debates with classmates who came from a very church-grounded liberal politics, I found the notion of a “loving” god who allowed so many to suffer unbelievable. Because I believed there was no god, I must take care and do for myself, with no expectation of help. I was tired of my people believing “God will provide” and “He will save us,” which I felt generated the same sort of feeling about government help. Thus, I became a supporter of personal responsibility and free markets, culminating in me voting for GWB in my first presidential election.
Graduate school, maturity, and observation of bigotry and incompetence within Republican governance have moderated my politics substantially, but I’ve maintained the atheism.