Black atheists experience isolation in several different ways. In their own families and community, they are often ostracized by a culture that assumes and values religion to a larger degree than the white culture in our society. While the number of atheists and non-religious whites is growing and currently, according to surveys, around 15% the number of black freethinkers is smaller at approximately 12%. The social bedrock of church attendance and belief runs deeper for blacks and so African-American atheists find themselves to be a "minority within a minority." We also observe that formal atheist and freethinking groups are to a large extent the domain of white people, and so when black people come to our meetings they find few of their own race in attendance. This can also give them the feeling of isolation.
Fortunately there are activists within the black atheist community who are working to change things for black atheists, and to the benefit of atheist groups as a whole. When there are more better voices we all win.
Jamila Bey is a comedian and a journalist in the Washington, D.C. area, and a black woman unafraid to use the "A" word. We are fortunate to have her on our show to talk about what she does to help spread the truths of Logic, Reason and Science to all who may hear. Minnesota Atheists President August Berkshire talked to her at the American Atheists Conference in Des Moines, IA in April, 2011. He will talk to her on our show.
Some links for today's show:
Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists, the Humanists of Minnesota and the generous support of our members and donors. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather.