10 Important Tips for the New Black Atheist

Tagged: Alix Jules / atheism / diversity / local groups / new atheists

So you’re a new atheist, and you're Black? Welcome! My name is Alix and I too, am a Black atheist. You're not alone. In fact, we’re growing at a staggering pace, though you’re not necessarily seeing it in the polls yet. The latest surveys show America shedding religion by the millions:

In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).

Except in the Black population which mostly remains religious (with well over 90% claiming religion). However, through many grassroots endeavors in Black nontheistic awareness, those of us who no longer identify as religious are finding each other in droves. I think it’s a start that leads to a wishful tipping point. The more visibility, perhaps we can normalize what was once commonplace and explain to others what you may now know, Blacks weren't always Christian (or Muslim).

I’ve been out of religion for years, and I’ve seen this movement change. The growth has helped increase numbers, but can leave one a little lost. There are many subgroups in general Atheism, I can't possibly list them all, but they include focuses on Secular Students, LGBTQ communities, rights, and issues, as well as your standard Atheist and Skeptics groups. CampQuest is wonderful if you have kids, but sometimes diversity is an issue. Nonetheless, there are also many Atheistic groups that exist outside of the movement, in different arenas and have different focuses. Many of them, don't even show up in the movement. In fact, you can find two different groups called Black Atheist that don't seem to even occupy the same universe. One exist for Pan African or Nationalistic reasons, while the other is mostly an online collective of thousands of diverse secular voices. They both, like any group, can be filled with rancor at times, but they serve the communities that make them up.

There is even a thriving multi-lingual community for those of you with roots that branch continents and cultures.

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I know there are other guides out there, and some are awesome, but your journey is your own. I wanted to impart my view on what I see, in hopes of helping you navigate Black, or not so Black, Secularism.

Read the full post at at "The Graffiti Wall" on Patheos.

Alix Jules
About the Author: Alix Jules

Alix Jules is the curator of The Graffiti Wall. He is a secular activist in DFW involved in diversity in atheism, on air personality, artist, and father of five. Find him at alix331@twitter or facebook: TheGraffitiWallwithAlixJules.