Today is the fourth Sunday in February, which in the US is declared Black History Month because in this month is the birthday of the great emancipator, Abe Lincoln, and the erudite and powerful voice of those in bondage during the Civil War, Fredrick Douglass. There have been criticisms of having such a month, including by African Americans, but I think it still worth-while because, while we would like a color-blind society, we are nonetheless a racially diverse nation and one with race issues.
The Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers (DoS) is a nationwide event during Black History Month to promote community and solidarity among blacks in America who identify as non-believers: atheists, agnostics, skeptics, free-thinkers, etc. DoS has been organized as a way to counter the religious voice that all too often serves as the lone voice of black consciousness and experience. These gatherings in cities and towns across the U.S. will promote fellowship and the pursuit of humanist strategies to solve the problems facing humanity – especially those affecting the black community.
The events will be unique, customized by each of the organizers and attendees. DOS gatherings will take place in coffeehouses, restaurants or other casual settings. Larger groups may convene in libraries or other public venues. Although there is no formal itinerary for the DOS events, organizers are encouraged to include a segment on historical black non-theists, share life experiences, plan for the next DOS, and there should be ample time to socialize – get acquainted!
National Contact: Donald Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored By: African Americans for Humanism, Black Atheists of America, Black Freethinkers, Black Non-Believers, Inc., and Black Skeptics Los Angeles
This is something we ought to be promoting in the secular world. The ideals of skeptics, atheists, and other non-believers should have their values to universal rather than collected among a particular segment of society. Moreover, there are plenty of issues that should be addressed that are of concern in the African American community, as well as other minority communities. We should be having the most diverse tent of people possible, united by common cause.
Unfortunately there are too many that have either been silent about this event or think it is somehow inappropriate. Somehow too many think that the African American voice is not alienated by the atheist or skeptical community (though it is). Naima Washington gives a good chewing-out of those that deserve it, and I recommend you read it if you feel that there is something wrong with this event.
We need to keep the movement diverse, try to grow with all populations, and not make excuses for why our movement is homogeneous (i.e. “black people are just more religious”). Let’s have some solidarity here, people.