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Black Freethought

This is a group for ALL interested in the subject of black atheism, freethought, & humanism. "Black" pertains to all people of African descent.

Members: 509
Latest Activity: Mar 6


The photo displayed is of Harlem soapbox orator, agitator, popular educator, & atheist Hubert Henry Harrison.

Documentation of black atheism, freethought, & humanism on the web can be found in my atheist web guide.

See also my working bibliography.

I also have a general interest blog, Reason & Society.

Some of you may also be interested in some of my other projects, e.g. The Autodidact Project, my Studies in a Dying Culture (blog), and my Emergence blog. You can also listen to my podcasts: my Internet radio show is called "Studies in a Dying Culture," hosted by Think Twice Radio.

Discussion Forum

Slave Sermons

Started by Anubis Feb 24. 0 Replies

New book about prominent black intellectuals

Started by Michael Lackey. Last reply by Michael Lackey Dec 27, 2014. 7 Replies

Economics 101 for Slaves...

Started by Christina Marlowe. Last reply by Clarence Dember Nov 26, 2014. 5 Replies


Started by Joel. Last reply by Deconverted Afro-Queen Nov 21, 2014. 12 Replies

Prayer? Prayers do not come true!!

Started by Navitta Nelson. Last reply by Deconverted Afro-Queen Nov 21, 2014. 13 Replies

Black History Month: The Lesson We have Missed

Started by THE GRENADIAN FREETHINKER. Last reply by Sabrinabee Mar 7, 2013. 1 Reply

The Buddha was Black (and Bald)

Started by Eisel Mazard. Last reply by Donald T Sep 27, 2012. 1 Reply

William R. Jones, Jr., author of 'Is God a White Racist?', dies

Started by Ralph Dumain. Last reply by Donald R Barbera Aug 6, 2012. 1 Reply

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Black Freethought to add comments!

Comment by Harlem Humanists on August 22, 2012 at 3:47pm

Mind Food & "Soul Food" 

Our monthly discussion meeting.

Our discussion theme this month is Activist Humanism. And vice versa. We'll be joined for the first part of our meeting by long time Harlem secularist and activist Nellie Hester Bailey. Then she'll leave us to go downtown and literally continue her activism; and we'll turn our attention to the potentials for action we can see locally, nationally and internationally. 

We'll also look at new stories for the "This redefines delusion - Bat-$h#t Crazy - file". Bring you're own recent news items. 

RSVP - CFI-Meet Up or Richies List

Harlem USA

646-820-CFIH (2344)


We define ourselves as a skeptical and critical community. Critical thinking and skeptical inquiry guide our approach to understanding the world and, hopefully, even ourselves. 


Many who claim a Natural(ist), Rational(ist), Secular(ist) and Human(ist)-centered worldview find ourselves with the challenge of how to live and create our vision of society, guided by open curiosity, reason, science and - yes! - also creative inspiration, imagination, humor and awe. 


Many  - but not all of us - are motivated by the questions: 


  • Do we have an ethical obligation to step out of mere self-satisfaction and into action?
  • How do we live our humanism through activism? What are the practical obstacles, advantages and disadvantages?
  • How do we use our tools for testing, thinking and creating sustainable solutions to deliver progress, excellence and justice? 



Joining us in our discussion about putting humanist values to work is Nellie Hester Bailey.  She's a long-time Harlemite. More importantly, she's a thinker, organizer and communitarian, in the tradition of Hubert Harrison and other humanists who laid the ground work before the Harlem Renaissance and since. Nellie's legacy begins with co-founding the Harlem Tenants Council in 1994. This has been a national and international model for tenant-led housing justice. 


For her community-based efforts she's been awarded the Alston Bannerman Fellowship in 2001; the Union Square Award for Grassroots Activists in 2001; and a 2005 Proclamation from the New York City Council for services rendered to indigent tenants in all boroughs.


Her local work has global reach. Nellie Bailey was an International Election Observer in the first South African free elections in 1994; a delegate at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China in 1995; and led a Harlem delegation to the 1996 UN Conference on Human Habitat II in Istanbul, Turkey.


She is also currently one of the guiding forces behind Occupy Harlem. Broadcasting from our own back yard, Ms. Bailey hosts the weekly radio program "Inside Housing" on WHCR 90.3 FM Radio in Harlem.


Nellie Hester Bailey will share the link between her own secular humanist and activist histories. This will be the jumping off point for us to explore similar potential connections in our own lives.


Join Us!

Comment by Donald R Barbera on August 4, 2012 at 6:15pm
Ralph reminded me what reading does for human beings. We often take it for granted that everyone reads and that they read books that enrich the mind, but that is not the case. Thanks for sharing the knowledge or where to acquire it. I enjoy coming here because the overwhelming majority are well read which provides multiple opportunities for me and others to expand our thoughts. Number 500 coming up!
Comment by Daniel W on August 4, 2012 at 4:05pm

Ralph, That's a thoughtful message and very meaningful.  The growth of the group is truly impressive and admirable. 

Not on freethought per se, but social history of racism and other inhumane societal institutions, I just read "Slavery by Another Name" by Douglas Blackmon.   It goes so much further than the PBS series.  The post emancipation "Neoslavery" was even worse than what it replaced.  I would rank it as one of the greatest societal crimes of human history, and civil rights as one of the greatest revolutions in human history.  Probably 90% of Americans don't know that history, including me until now.  Every humanist should be informed, about how we came to where we are today, and the way that people, including highly religious cultures of the American South (and in other ways, North), have treated fellow human beings.  I won't say Christianity was the cause of Jim Crow, but Islam, Judaism, and Christianity accepted, supported, pioneered, and contributed to race slavery and racism (not addressed in the book but mentioned in "The Slave Ship" by Markus Rediker).  And while there was significant role of some religious people and institutions in Emancipation and Civil Rights Movement, that's not enough to justify false religions.  (Throw in Slavery, an Inhumane Bondage by David Brion Davis, and I really need to find something much more uplifting about human behavior!)

Comment by thomas smith on August 3, 2012 at 12:43am

hello everyone, Fredrick Douglas day and bicycle ride this sunday8-5-12

Comment by Ralph Dumain on August 2, 2012 at 9:29pm

I haven't checked in for some time. Been busy, I see we are just short of 500 members.  Catching up on my messages, someone protested: why black freethought? There is only one freethought, and there should not be separation. Well you know this sort of objection pops up all the time. I can answer very specifically in this case. I called this group "black freethought" rather than "black freethinkers" not because I think there is or should be a special entity called "black freethought", but simply to emphasize what I say in the group description, that the group is open to ALL. In other words, it's your interest in the subject matter, in the movement to promote freethought amongst people classified as black over the past 400 years, that counts, not your racial credentials. Which means also that some of you should stop apologizing for yourselves as if you have to ask permission to participate. There is nothing separatist about this group; it's just one focus among many in this world, just like atheist groups for India or any other geographical area or demographic, most of which are open to all who take an honest interest.

Comment by L.Hunter on June 11, 2012 at 10:11pm
Comment by Debbie Goddard on June 7, 2012 at 9:08pm

Hi all,

CFI–Portland asked me for help finding potential films for their upcoming Humanist Film Festival.  They received some criticism last year for featuring seven white dudes as speakers, presenters, and directors.  So they’re looking for submissions that might feature people of color, women, other underrepresented groups.


PLEASE help if you can—let me know if you have any suggestions!


Here’s the submission information:


Thanks ahead of time.  It’s really appreciated.

Debbie Goddard

Director, African Americans for Humanism


Comment by Ralph Dumain on March 24, 2012 at 7:42am

I think it would be more convenient to make the justice issue a discussion thread more than a running wall commentary. Again, I've been a busy boy and haven't checked in frequently as I should. I will be at the Reason Rally in DC today, though.

Comment by Daniel W on March 18, 2012 at 11:52pm

An invitation to anyone who is interested.

Justice For All

Justice For All

Atheists have our own ideas about what is just and what is unjust.  This group will explore the elusive concept of justice.  Topics include racial justice, death penalty, imprisonment, crime, and other aspects of justice in modern society and in history.  Without gods, what is the basis for justice?  What do humanists and others say about justice?

Comment by Daniel W on March 15, 2012 at 10:34am

AnneT.  Signed, thanks.  Investigation is needed. It's impossible to believe that racism is not the issue here.  I don't know if they care about petition signing from way out of state, but I signed anyway.


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