Biography of

Jeremiah Camara

Author | Speaker | Filmmaker

Jeremiah Camara is the author of the books Holy Lockdown: Does The Church Limit Black Progress? and The New Doubting Thomas: The Bible, Black Folks & Blind Belief. Camara is the creator of the widely watched video series Slave Sermons. Next Camara created Contradiction: A Question of Faith, a full‐length documentary examining the saturation of churches in Black communities coexisting with poverty and powerlessness. His latest documentary film project is entitled Holy Hierarchy: The Religious Roots of Racism in America. Holy Hierarchy explains how the beliefs in a Supreme Being during colonial America led to notions of supreme human beings and how these notions worked their way into the legal system; ultimately turning racism into an institution.

I was baptized at an early age and was once a member of one of the largest Black churches in Cincinnati, Ohio, my birthplace.  At age 20 I moved to Cleveland, Ohio where I began my quest toward a deeper understanding of my Christian beliefs. While in Cleveland, I began to diligently study the Bible and gave serious thought on becoming a minister, or at least living an active life in the church. During that time, I attended a Baptist church, at least two or three times a week. Like many, I felt the church could provide me with the substance I was missing… in the way of answers, meaning and purpose in my life.

Studying the bible actually made me distance myself from the church! Although there was inspiration between the books of Genesis to Revelations, there was also so much violence and so much blood and gore that it was very disturbing to me. I soon began to distance myself from Christianity, seeking alternative forms of inspiration. The diversity of the world and its kaleidoscopic array of infinite ideas and wisdom, would not permit my curiosity to be confined only to the teachings of the church. It also disturbed me deeply to witness Blacks praising so much, but producing so little. I returned to church, but this time as an investigator. Visits to churches of varying denominations, brought to light a common thread linking the vast majority. Mostly all, in my opinion, were preaching a gospel of powerlessness which conditioned people to lean on the supernatural. In other words… conditioning people to take  the path of least mental resistance.

Following a long investigative hiatus, I rediscovered this same theological impotence when I moved to Atlanta, where I quickly discovered that church was big business. I knew the time had come for me to write a book shedding light on the many psychologically crippling aspects within the church that keep Blacks in a state of “Holy Lockdown.”

In 2004 I wrote my first book entitled Holy Lockdown: Does The Church Limit Black Progress? The book reflects on the question as to why there are so many churches in Black neighborhoods yet so many problems. Why are Blacks on the bottom rungs in society when it comes to education, health and economics despite having a church seemingly on every corner? Holy Lockdown… also takes on the link between high praise and low productivity. The book received national attention and led to talks at churches, colleges and even private homes.

In 2010 I wrote the book, The New Doubting Thomas: The Bible, Black Folks & Blind Belief. This book supports why Blacks should have legitimate doubts and skepticism regarding the bible’s fanatical claims as well as the “divinely inspired” men behind the bible’s  production. The New Doubting Thomas… explores the Black dynamic with the Christian faith and its impingement upon Black culture.

In 2010 I also created a popular YouTube series entitled Slave Sermons…which are 10 minutes or less videos which document the ill effects of religious involvement specifically amongst Blacks. Many episodes also highlight the psychological effects of biblical and religious  iconography. The series has a large following and has gained national and international attention.

In 2013 I created the film Contradiction: A Question of Faith. Contradiction… looks at the paradox of church saturation in African-American communities throughout the United States that far too often are coexisting with poverty and powerlessness. The film is currently on Amazon Prime Video.

In 2019 I created my second documentary film called Holy Hierarchy: The Religious Roots of Racism in America. This film explains how the notions of a Supreme Being in colonial Virginia led to supreme human beings and how these beliefs worked their way into the legal system; ultimately creating racism and turning it into an institution. Holy Hierarchy… can also  be viewed on Amazon Prime Video.

I am a member of Black Non-Believers of America founded by Mandisa Thomas and I have spoken about the deleterious effects of blind belief and religious iconography in many churches and colleges including Harvard, Ohio State and Florida State.

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Milestones along my journey...

In an Atlanta studio with actress/comedian Mo'Nique and her husband, actor/producer Sidney Hicks

At home chopping it up with Dr. Ray Hagins, Founder of the Afrikan Village

Having a moment with Professor Molefi Kete Asante

In Brooklyn, NY with holistic practitioner, Queen Afua

In the Philippines with Dan Barker. Co Founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation headquartered in Madison WI 1

With radio personality Michael Baisden

At Arizona State University with renown scientist and astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss

Having lunch in Harlem, NY with world renown Jazz bassist Lonnie Plaxico

With Dr. Julia Hare and Professor Walter Williams

In Montreal, Quebec, Canada with Grammy Award winning Jazz trumpeter, Roy Hargrove

In Los Angeles interviewing Dr. Richard Meri Ka Ra Byrd

Having breakfast with J. Anthony Brown, comedian and radio personality

In St. Louis with one of my biggest influences, Professor Walter Williams.

The legendary Comedian/Social activist Dick Gregory

Talking with R&B Singer / Songwriter Anthony David

Me and Jesse Jackson in 2005