The need for critical thinking skills and a humanistic outlook in our world is great. This is no less true in the Black community than in others. Many African Americans have been engulfed by religious irrationality, conned by self-serving “faith healers”, and swayed by dogmatic revisionist historians. Many others, however, have escaped the oppression of such delusions, and live happy and upstanding lives free of superstition.
African Americans for Humanism–DC (AAH–DC) exists to bring these secular humanists together, to provide a forum for communication, and to facilitate coordinated action. In an irrational world, those who stand for reason must stand together.
In April 2010, the Center for Inquiry–DC (CFI–DC) and African Americans for Humanism (AAH) co-sponsored the largest known conference of African American humanists and non-theists. Many of the participants were not aware that so many other African Americans shared their views about science, religion and critical thinking. Since belief in religion is highly prevalent in the Black community, there is little understanding or support for the African American humanist, religious skeptic or non-theists. African Americans who become skeptics, humanists and freethinkers generally do so without familial or institutional support. The AAH conference demonstrated the need to build local African American humanist communities by reaching out, sharing information, resources and experiences and by providing the personal support and understanding that the believing community cannot provide.
Pursuant to the convention, African Americans for Humanism DC (AAH–DC) was formed as part of CFI–DC, an affiliate of the Council for Secular Humanism. AAH–DC is also a Friend of the DC Coalition of Reason. Our goal is to build an African American humanist community by helping African Americans (and other minorities) to embrace critical thinking and a non-mythic world view, by encouraging and supporting the efforts of African Americans humanists and free thinkers to work together to have a greater impact in the DC Metro area, and by promoting the participation of more African Americans in the world secular humanist community.
AAH–DC, in coordination with Center for Inquiry–DC (CFI–DC), sponsors or participates in activities or events designed to:
- Promote critical thinking, freethought and the knowledge of and respect for science and reason among African Americans.
- Promote an appreciation for the lives and work of the great African American humanists, freethinkers and skeptics of the past.
- Use the resources, programs and assistance available through CFI, its affiliated organizations, and other qualified, reliable sources to provide the African American community with accurate information about humanism, secularism, the varieties of belief and other relevant subjects.
- Provide non-judgmental support for those who question their faith or their beliefs.
- Support the work of secular student groups at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
- Build working relationships, networks and provide support to other AAH chapters and to secular humanist organizations inside and outside of CFI.
- Provide a secular, humanist, African American voice and perspective to the local, national and international public policy debate as it impacts the African American and other communities.