For African Americans, the Bible’s Exodus narrative is a cultural touchstone. Since before the Civil War, the story of the Israelites’ slavery and deliverance has spurred comparisons to black people’s experiences in the United States. Scripture’s importance to the black population in the U.S. is reflected in Pew Research Center survey data showing that black people are more likely than most other Americans to read scripture regularly and to view it as the word of God.
Indeed, more than half of black people in the U.S. (54%) – both Christian and non-Christian – say they read the Bible or other holy scripture at least once a week outside of religious services, compared with 32% of whites and 38% of Hispanics, according to data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study. Indeed, relatively few black people (24%) say they seldom or never read the Bible, compared with 50% of whites and 40% of Hispanics.