Thursday, February 21, 2013

Alone in a Growing Crowd

Day of Solidarity for Black Non-believers...

The skeptical and atheist communities (factions feels a truer word these days) are rife with fractious discord.  Epithets fly, partisans claw their way to the peaks of enlightenment, and thought-leaders apply more passion to discerning what separates us than to finding what we might hold in common.  There are days I wouldn't care join this club if it would have me.

All the while atheism, agnosticism, and apatheism continues to grow as religion meets the needs of fewer and fewer Americans.

Still there are people who have left their faith communities - and sometimes their families - behind who are trying to make place for themselves at the Nones table.  Once again it seems that persons of color are under-served by a largely white, mostly male community.  Are black atheists content to patiently waiting their turn?  No, once again, persons of color are creating community.  In 2011 author Donald Wright called on blacks to set aside the fourth Sunday of February as a Day of Solidarity for Black Non-believers.

I am not black and my black friends are mostly church-going or mosque-attending folk.   I am a fellow non-theist though.  I understand that blacks suffer in special ways when they announce to friends and family that they are also members of minorities that even many blacks despise.  I sincerely hope that black non-believers can create community while other atheists cannot be distracted from their priviledged discord long enough to create anything.


  1. Absolutely. I think this is where social media is a major tool. I would have never started to speak out about my dissension from Christianity and theism itself unless other Black people did so via social media, and write about it consistently. I think the cultural support is needed because while I value the intellectual scholarship of some White skeptics and atheists, cultural/emotional support from other Black people and people of colour, in addition to their intellectual contributions, is needed for me because of the legacy that racism has played inside and outside of religion.

  2. Great post. You comments really connected with me and you really get it. Thanks!