Ending Religious Iconography In America
.R .I C .A
Jeremiah Camara (President)
Hi, I'm Jeremiah Camara, the author of the books Holy Lockdown: Does The Church Limit Black Progress? and the New Doubting Thomas: The Bible, Black Folks & Blind Belief. I'm also the creator of the widely watched YouTube video series Slave Sermons. I am the producer and creator of the full-length documentary film Contradiction: A Question of Faith, which examines the saturation of churches in African American communities coexisting with poverty and powerlessness. I then created and directed the documentary film Holy Hierarchy: The Religious Roots of Racism in America. Holy Hierarchy explains how the beliefs in a supreme being during colonial America led to beliefs and notions of supreme human beings. These attitudes and pretexts worked its way into the legal system; ultimately turning racism into an institution. Both films can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video. Please visit JeremiahCamara.com/j-c-s-bio/ for my full story.
Marcus Reyes (Secretary)
Hi, I'm Marcus Reyes. I was born on the islands of Trinidad & Tobago, but I was raised in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, I dreamed of becoming a filmmaker. I attended Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida to earn my BA in Entertainment Business with a concentration in Film and Television. I also have a Masters Degree in Internet Marketing and have worked in television for more than ten years. After working in television, I made my first full-length documentary film entitled A Broken Faith, which addresses religion and atheism in today's modern society. A Broken Faith was very personal for me because of my many uncomfortable experiences growing up in a very religious community that never seemed to answer the questions I often asked about religion. I wanted to take on discussions regarding religious indoctrination; using my own views and experiences to challenge and shed light on how my non-beliefs have negatively affected relationships with my family and friends. I received a tremendous amount of criticism for challenging the validity and relevance of Christianity.
I went on to do my second documentary film entitled Papi Ain't No Snitch: The Rasheed Thurmond story but I desired to delve back into the subject of religion and I ultimately connected with Jeremiah Camara after watching his film Contradiction: A Question of Faith. I joined Jeremiah and helped him produce the film Holy Hierarchy: The Religious Roots of Racism in America. Also, as the videographer of this important film, I was exposed to much religious iconography throughout the country that I think helps to feed notions of supremacy for some but not so for others who don't correspond to the ethnicity of these images we hope to eliminate. I continue to work with Jeremiah Camara and we're planning to produce future projects that also deal with religion and social issues.
Ken Gibson (Secretary)
Hi, I'm Ken Gibson. I was born in Atlanta, GA. and like most Blacks I was brought up in the church. I was once a devout member of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. I had a big church family, including the family of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I grew up with Martin Luther King III and he is one of my oldest friends. I traveled with Martin throughout the world as his personal assistant but I began to strongly question my faith in the bible and the god character within the bible. Although Martin King III and I were still traveling around the country with his speaking engagements, which often centered on faith, I was holding my doubts to myself. Then in 2012 at the World Conference on Religion in Washington D.C. where Martin Luther King III was speaking, I met Jeremiah Camara. Jeremiah was interviewing MLK III for his upcoming film Contradiction: A Question of Faith. Jeremiah's questions to Martin really resonated with me. I texted him later that evening expressing my own doubts about religion. Shortly afterwards, I stopped touring with Martin and became interested in being an activist for freethinkers and non-believers. I began a podcast called Forbidden Fruit which featured several prominent atheists, secularists, humanists and freethinkers throughout the world. I felt that the mind itself was and still is the original forbidden fruit. We have recorded over 200 shows and there is still more to come. I'm excited to work with ERICA and take on new challenges and boldly go where no one has gone before.
Hi, I'm Granada Higgins. I'm the proud owner of Express Taxes LLC, which is one of the largest privately owned tax companies in the Atlanta metro area. I'm an Enrolled Agent (E.A) as well and have been in the tax business for over 25 years. I'm often called the "Tax Lady" and I operate my business with my daughter's Jamila and Ife. I'm excited to be involved with ERICA because I too think it's an important mission. I've heard that it doesn't matter about the race of which Jesus is depicted but I strongly disagree. When Black children are exposed to White images of Jesus and other biblical characters, it cripples them psychologically. The implications of White biblical iconography are enormous and we will fight hard to put an end to this kind of psychological warfare.
I also think that images are powerful. They tend to have a lasting effect on us. Whatever we're exposed to as children will be permanently imprinted on our minds. In recent years, racism and White supremacy have received lots of attention and I do think we're making progress towards racial justice. But unless we address White biblical iconography in public places, the promotion of White supremacy will be on full display for all to see.