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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

I have found myself working on some online AV projects with Jermain of Black Atheists of America, or BAAm,  and have become aware of another side of the Atheist Movement. 

Ayana Watson is the founder of BAAm and has courageously been speaking out about Atheism in a community where religion is ingrained in their families and culture.  In her words, Black Atheists often find themselves part of a dual minority, and she often finds herself as the only Black person at many Atheist Conventions.

Not only courageous, but highly intelligent and articulate, she has been working very hard putting herself out there, doing radio shows, youtube videos etc etc often in the face of disapproval, criticism and adversity.  Her hard work has given other Black Atheists a place to go, where they can share their thoughts & express their views without fear of judgement.

My hat goes off to you Ayana.  And with regards to Jermaine, I feel 'blessed' that despite the labels that are placed on us in our society, we freethinkers can find common ground from opposite sides of the globe, and work together on mutually beneficial projects and form lifetime friendships.

I recommend visiting their youtube channel for some of their radio shows, vlogs etc It would be great if members of Atheist Universe also got behind BAAm and supported their movement.

 

 

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Comment was by Neal on January 8, 2012 at 10:55am

Comment was by Neal on January 8, 2012 at 10:54am

Thanks. Wanted to clarify the same point, you did a much better job than I would have =)

Comment was by Adriana on January 8, 2012 at 10:42am

Having women's groups, or Latino groups, men's groups, gay atheists, European atheists, or ex-Muslim atheists groups or people in wheelchairs group, or overweight atheists, etc.,  is not sexist, racist, or exclusionary, or discriminatory. Racism or sexism means thinking that there is something intrinsically different, inferior, or that affect the abilities of a person, about other groups, and to act to exclude others from an exclusive group.

We all go through life with different "identities" and belonging to different groups, whether we like it or not. This colors our life experiences in a different light which is sometimes hard to explain to other groups who have not gone through similar experiences, like Keely said. And sometimes it maybe helpful to know that there are others out there who share similar experiences, and it's helpful to discuss them with others who went exactly through the same type of experiences we went through.

In our site, our groups are open to anyone who wants to join. In other sites, other people keep them exclusionary. For example, Atheist Nexus which was the first atheist social networking site I heard of, or belonged to (promoted by PZ Myers), and a Men's Group that excludes females from membership. When I asked why, the response was that if you throw women in the mix, men will change the way they express themselves and the creators of the group felt that they wanted a place for men to discuss men's issues feeling safe and being as open as they wanted to, without feeling constrained to modify their behavior in any way, simply because there were female ears (rather, eyes) around. It sounded strange to me, especially since any female could have signed up as a male and "eavesdrop", it is the internet after all; but I accepted the explanation because it is possible that not being a man, I never considered having to watch my language a constraint, not more than I have always done in my life, depending on the social situation. I don't know if anyone here can confirm that there still is a closed group on Atheist Nexus, just for men, but even though the group is exclusionary, I hesitate to call that a sexist group.

Atheist Nexus has a great Black Freethought group to which I belonged; the group accepted anyone, not just black people, and it was interesting to me to learn from the perspective of black Americans who felt completely ostracized from their families and friends, and who couldn't even get a date if they came out as atheists. I also learned an awful lot about great American freethinkers who happened to be black and who had the perspective of having gone through slavery or through some form of racial separation.Just like Marianne said, I had no idea how difficult it was to be a black atheist. Also, even though I'm Latina, I had no idea what it was for certain Latino communities to come out as atheists, because I grew up in a largely secular (the most secular, actually), Latin American country.

Comment was by Marianne on January 8, 2012 at 10:14am

I just listenedto the interview; I think she was great and it really opened my eyes to something that is definitely a problem but doen't seem to have been addressed enough;  I definitely had not realized how difficult it was to be a black atheist.

Comment was by Adriana on January 7, 2012 at 11:22am

Wonderful, thanks for posting. I did not know her.

Comment was by Neal on January 7, 2012 at 9:43am

Not that I would presume to know anything about it, but what a hard place to be in. I worked in a diverse group, and only one black gentleman I knew claimed to be an atheist. He would seldom discuss or talk about it though, his wife and family were religious. All others were not only religious, but yell it from the rooftops religious. 

Comment was by ben on January 7, 2012 at 1:43am

Thanks Keely, & thanks for reminding me about the facebook page.  Heres the link for anyone who is interested BAAm Facebook Group 

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