A Change Is Coming: Black Secular Women On The Rise

I had an amazing weekend! The Seattle Seahawks defeated the 49ers and clinched their spot in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks victory was the cherry on top of a day that started out  well. This past Sunday I had the privilege of participating in a roundtable discussion, sponsored by Black Freethinkers and People of Color Beyond Faith. For over an hour we shared our experiences as secular black women, the challenges of being atheist in a community that is overwhelmingly religious, and the issue of sexism in the various communities that we belong to. Partaking in the roundtable was both positive and timely for me.

As a black female atheist I’m generally surrounded by those whose religious views do not mirror my own. While I certainly respect the freedom of individuals to believe or not believe as they see fit, I can’t front. When I see the way Black women in particular remain loyal to strains of Christianity that do NOT empower them I get sad and frustrated at times. Faith may serve as a source of affirmation for some sisters, but it also serves as a tool to pacify and make them accept circumstances which do not benefit them. By waiting on and expecting Jesus to fix everything that ails them they do not take the proactive steps which would actually improve their lives. But thankfully a change is coming.  One by one, Black women are realizing how religion has been used to subjugate us. Through social media I’ve encountered a growing number of Black women who no longer subscribe to religion.  Last week  For Harriet, a blog community geared towards Black women, featured a piece on this phenomenon. And on January 15th popular blogger Bougie Black Girl revealed that she too is an atheist. 

2014 is an exciting time for Black secular women. Though I don’t foresee the majority of Black women abandoning religion completely, the simple knowledge that I am  far from alone is encouraging. As time goes on and as we Black secular women share our views and experiences I believe that we will encourage others to do the same. Moving past the burdensome dogma that has held us in place for so long, we can instead work together to build a world and community different from the one that we were born into.

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A native Seattleite and recent East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been. I reside in the suburbs of NYC with my husband, daughter, and our two feisty but deeply loved cats.

6 thoughts on “A Change Is Coming: Black Secular Women On The Rise

  1. The famous Bill Crosby once said, “It isn’t a matter of black is beautiful, as much as it is that… white is not all that’s beautiful.” I hope that his words speak to your hurting heart of acceptance. My goal in this life is not to redefine beauty, but to change what it’s built on. My blog series, is in hopes that we can all see that our black, white, yellow, green, pink, orange, and every color in between has beauty of its own.

    http://beautymyblack.wordpress.com/

  2. Just to clarify on my previous Comment
    I just started my blog series and I’m, “Promoting” it by posting what its about on blogger’s “Comment Sections”. I’m not referring to you or anyone particular. Luv your post!

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