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The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking Out on Religion--and Others Should Too

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Black women are the single most religious demographic in the United States, yet they are among the poorest, least educated, and least healthy groups in the nation. Drawing on the author's own past experience as an evangelical minister and her present work as a secular counselor and researcher, The Ebony Exodus Project makes a direct connection between the church and the pl ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Pitchstone Publishing (first published January 1st 2013)
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Robert Chatham
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the first atheist book that I've read that wasn't written by a Caucasian male. The Ebony Exodus Project isn't like Richard Dawkins preaching to the converted; instead, Candace Gorham interviews freethinking black women, telling in their own words how they came to atheism and the struggles they faced before and after. Between these interviews, the author talks about ways that women are negatively affected by the patriarchal views of the church. Really unique, wonderful perspective!
Candace Gorham interviews several Black women who left the church and are either atheist or freethinkers. The first interview is a powerful, funny, and sad story of a young woman named, Bria, who grew up as a Jehovah's Witness. She leaves the church at 17 , and starts questioning the religious views she was taught. How Bria tells her story is so poignant, frank, and powerful. She says, “Eventually I went from being straight for Jesus to being who I am. I didn't need to be reborn. I was born righ ...more
Thankful Reader
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
This is the first book I have ever read on atheism. That is feat in and of itself. Though I do not identify myself as an atheist, I related strongly with many of the women in this book. This book has definitely impacted and confirmed many of the beliefs I hold regarding religion. Overall, I found the book to be encouraging and insightful.

I highly recommend this book for anyone questioning their religion or anyone who is in the process of leaving their religion or anyone who is seeking support a
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As someone who has been slowly drifting away from organized religion I really enjoyed this book. I really like the stories of the individual women over the other chapters.

I think the author focuses a lot on the Black Church because that is what she is most familiar with. But I didn't grow up with that so while I agreed with a lot of the women I wasn't coming from the same place. But the hypocrisy they spoke of goes beyond the Black Church. I think that's endemic to the Christian religion.

Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: secularism, race
Very good book. The personal stories were well selected and varied, and they were powerful. There is nothing quite like hearing first person experiences to get a better understanding of a situation. The rest of the book trod some well-worn ground, but I've read a lot, and I can see value in presenting the information as she does for her target audience. A worthy addition to the library. ...more
Tommy Carlson
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
While that title is a mouthful, the book itself is very, very good. About two-thirds of the book consists of stories of black women and their relationship with the Black Church. (Black as in racially black, not satanically black.) These aren't the rantings you might be expecting if your atheist readings have consisted of lots of white folks. Every women in this book has her own personal story and perspective. Some are more ambivalent than others.

The other third consists of essays from Gorham her
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Having gotten quite tired of reading texts that discuss the hypocrisy of religion (mainly they appeal to some level of philosophical reasoning, which is smashingly logical to me but usually fails to convince anyone fundamentally attached to their mythology), it was refreshing to read actual stories from real people who came to the conclusion that the church did not serve their best interests. Some of them where heartfelt and wrenching, and some were very witty and funny (I'm thinking of Debbie's ...more
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
An important voice in the burgeoning black free thought movement.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it liked it
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Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book was ok, but could have been written better.
Lance Goff
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nobody's rated this? Really...? Anyway, I found this to be an extremely worthwhile read. Even though I have no significant frame of reference as far as the "Black Church" is concerned, I thought Ms. Gorham, and her interview subjects, did a great job of explaining it's prevalence within the African American culture and the ramifications of leaving it all behind. There are some humorous reflections sprinkled among the painful ones but the entire reading experience is very enlightening. Highly rec ...more
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-in-2014
I didn't think I would identify with any of the women since I didn't grow up in the church, but I was wrong. I found something that spoke to me in every one of the stories. Each women had a different story yet they were all similar at the end. They became critical thinkers no later oppressed by Christianity. If you follow or do something out of fear are you doing it for the right reasons? One of many favorite quotes from the book, "I didn't need to be reborn. I was born right the first time." ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a helpful read for Black women (or anyone, for that matter) who can no longer blindly accept the status quo, regardless of the racial background of one's religious experience. Gratifying to know that we who question aren't alone. ...more
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Feb 16, 2020
A needed voice within not just the black community but also the atheist/skeptic community.
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Candace received her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from North Carolina Central University. She received her Master’s degree in mental health counseling from Wake Forest University. Candace’s religious background is varied, including Jehovah's Witnesses and Methodist.

At 18, she joined a very charismatic ministry during which time she was ordained as an evangelist, prophetess, and

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