"It is a sad fact that people of color, particularly African American nonbelievers, are alienated within the secular community. Among the ‘faith’ communities, even those with the most racist and sexist doctrines, continue to do whatever it takes (and make no apologies) as they aggressively recruit and make space in their communities for people of color."
"In my book, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars, I argued that the literature on secularism and gender does not capture the experiences of women of color negotiating racism, sexism, and poverty in historically religious communities. The relative dearth of secular humanist and freethought traditions amongst women of color cannot be separated from the broader context of white supremacy, gender politics, and racial segregation."
Recently the blog “Considered Exclamations” featured a post by AH Tripp challenging the selective endorsement of the “Next Generation of atheist activists.” This “crop of next wave leaders” is virtually all-white and lauded for tackling perennial secular and atheist issues such as questioning prayer in school. Tripp wondered why the social justice work of secular activists like Sikivu Hutchinson, founder of the Women’s Leadership Project (WLP) and Black Skeptics Los Angeles, are under-recognized by the media and secular/ atheist communities. He challenged white atheist groups like the Freedom from Religion Foundation to get out of their bubbles and see how communities of color approach secularism.
"That would be the perfect present," my Mama said as she hugged me goodbye after a visit. The present in question would be attending church with her and the rest of the family for Mother's Day. I looked at her and my Dad as they stood in the doorway and didn't say anything, only nodding and flashing a nervous, noncommittal smile as I walked to my car. As I drove off, I wasn't sure if warming a pew the next Sunday would be an act of selflessness, stupidity, or suicide.
God did it! We often hear this phrase, or its other variations—"To God be the glory," "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,"—uttered for different life events, like whenever a new job has been secured, a promotion earned, an ailing friend or family member regains their health, or a new home or car is purchased.
The Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers (DoS) was celebrated with a gathering by the CFI–Harlem Monthly Discussion Group (also called the Harlem Humanists). With almost 40 people in attendance, we were very pleased to see a lot of new faces. Many were attracted by the We Are AAH ad campaign that went up in bus shelters and subway stations around New York City during Black History Month.
Preliminary observations from this weekend’s virtually all-white Moving Secularism Forward conference: 1. We are all Africans—so don’t you (people) know that race is just a social construct
An Open Letter to Members of the Secular Community re: the Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers
I'd like to begin by thanking everyone who supported the second annual National Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers and particularly the Day of Solidarity co-sponsors: Black Skeptics of Los Angeles, led by Sikivu Hutchinson; Black Non-Believers, Inc., led by Mandisa Thomas; Black Non-believers of Chicago, led by Kimberly Veal; African Americans for Humanism, led by Debbie Goddard; and Black Atheists of America, led by Ayanna Watson.
One morning a few weeks ago, I woke up feeling down. Well, maybe "down" isn't the right word. I'd say I woke up feeling kind of blah. You know that feeling where you're not deeply depressed, but not your head's not in the clouds either. As I dropped my boyfriend off at work, just the thought of going through my daily routine—working, working out, blogging, etc.—made me want to pull the covers over my head and take a 12-hour nap.
When President Obama wants to burnish his credentials amongst African Americans he knows he will always be welcome in one place: a black church from central casting. From scripture spewing politicians to high octane Baptist gospel choirs to the ubiquitous prayer circle and Tyler Perry’s bible-thumping Madea caricature, religion and black culture are virtually synonymous in the American popular imagination.
When I began researching my book Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and the Values Wars in 2009 I was interested in discovering what other Black writers had published on the intersection of non-theism, feminism, and Black liberation. Historically, Black writers and scholars have been marginalized by what might be dubbed the To Kill a Mockingbird or The Help effect...
It seems that every few months, a media outlet discovers that black nonbelievers actually exist out there—and that some of us even meet and organize! Then there’s a surge of attention, and curiosity, and occasionally even more colorful reactions. As the director of African Americans for Humanism (AAH), I often get phone calls and e-mails from journalists looking for real live black atheists to talk to.