Lackey, Michael

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Lackey, Michael

PERSONAL:

Education: University of Kentucky, Ph.D., 1999.

ADDRESSES:

Office—University of Minnesota, Morris, 600 E. 4th St., Morris, MN 56267. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Educator and writer. University of Minnesota, Morris, assistant professor of English.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2007, for African American Atheists and Political Liberation: A Study of the Sociocultural Dynamics of Faith; Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship.

WRITINGS:

African American Atheists and Political Liberation: A Study of the Sociocultural Dynamics of Faith, University Press of Florida (Gainesville, FL), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Modern Literature, Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Philosophy and Literature, Woolf Studies Annual, Journal of Colonialism & Colonial History, Crossings: A Counter-Disciplinary Journal, Victorian Poetry, Journal of the History of Ideas, Studies in Short Fiction, and the Faulkner Journal.

SIDELIGHTS:

Michael Lackey is an English professor whose primary interests are twentieth-century intellectual history, God and religion in literature, and atheism. He is the author of African American Atheists and Political Liberation: A Study of the Sociocultural Dynamics of Faith. In his contribution to black studies and atheist philosophy, Lackey isolates and describes a philosophical tradition of black liberation atheism over the course of the twentieth century. He does so through the study of atheist African American writers. Lackey argues that, contrary to many white atheists, who mourn their loss of faith, black atheists tend to embrace their atheism because, in their view, the concept of God as espoused by many religions fosters both racism and oppression. An overview of the book on the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History Library University of North Carolina Web site noted that the author "poses a substantive challenge to those who see atheism in despairing and nihilistic terms." As Lackey explains, many black writers are concerned with a secular view of social and political justice and argue that atheistic politics based on pluralism, tolerance, and freedom is the only way to achieve a radical and true democracy. Among the black authors discussed are Richard Wright, Nella Larsen, and Langston Hughes.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Free Inquiry, June 1, 2007, Norm R. Allen, Jr., "Black Atheists to the Rescue!," review of AfricanAmerican Atheists and Political Liberation: A Study of the Sociocultural Dynamics of Faith, p. 62.

ONLINE

Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History Library University of North Carolina Web site,http://www.lib.unc.edu/stone/ (February 2, 2008), overview of African American Atheists and Political Liberation.

University of Minnesota, Morris Web site,http://www.mrs.umn.edu/ (February 2, 2008), faculty profile of author.