Show 385: Promoting African-American Humanism

Promoting African-American Humanism

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It is generally understood that the struggle of Black Americans to overcome the numerous obstacles to freedom and empowerment that has been placed in their way has always been supported by their unwavering faith, and by the Black Church.   But this is only part of the story.   Black Americans also have a long and rich secular tradition that continues in the present day groups like the Harlem Humanists.

To report on what the Harlem Humanists have been doing, as well as telling us about some of their upcoming plans, we will be joined by Leighann Lord and Ayanna Watson, as well as one of the core group organizers of the Harlem Humanists, Michael Lightsmith.

Questions we’ll try to address will include:

1.   What types of experiences does a group like Harlem Humanists offer their fellow Blacks and other persons of color?

2.   Is it likely that they can attract people who are used to community experiences that are much more emotionally dynamic and intense – with  “call and answer,” singing, gestulating, and cathartic emotional outbursts?

3.   Can the naturalistic approach become widely accepted if it is conveyed and practiced solely with an intellectual approach?

4.   What can be done to make the naturalistic approach more relevant and inspiring so that more come to realize the profound utility of naturalism.

Show 205: Fund Drive Show – “African-American Naturalism: A Forgotten Tradition” – Neil deGrasse Tyson, Anthony Pinn & Muntu Matsimela

Fund Drive Show – “African-American Naturalism: A Forgotten Tradition” – Neil deGrasse Tyson, Anthony Pinn & Muntu Matsimela

Audio here!

It’s widely accepted that faith and religious belief have been the most important elements sustaining the African-American community throughout their long history of subjection to oppression and adversity, but even in the Black Church, other worldly concerns were far less important than is generally believed.

The secular and humanistic traditions are long standing threads in African-American life that are hardly ever mentioned – yet it’s out of these traditions that the real world strategies and real world solutions which have yielded the greatest strides toward Black liberation and empowerment were developed and deployed.

What might happen if African-Americans today more fully embrace their rich history of naturalistic traditions; how might it make a difference for the future?

Dr. Anthony Pinn, author of “African American Humanist Principles: Living and Thinking like the Children of Nimrod” will help us trace the long and rich history of secular and humanistic traditions in African American life.

We will also be joined by Astrophysicist and Director of New York City’s Rose Planetarium and host of PBS’s “NOVA Now” series, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, and African Studies Professor, Community Activist and former Black Panther, Muntu Matsimela.

Show 177: Naturalism, Racism & African-Americans

2-Hour Special!

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Is it possible that the role of religion and faith has been far less of an advantage for African Americans than is commonly assumed? Might a naturalistic approach to life be more effective at addressing the challenges that African Americans continue to face, such as racism, and poverty? What might a naturalistic African American culture look like and how might it make a difference?

To help us examine the role of faith and religious practice in African American life from a critical perspective we will be joined on the phone by three African Americans who identify themselves as being humanist, atheist, and reason based, as opposed to faith based: Equal Time for Freethought’s (one time) science advisor Dr. Reg Hacksaw, who has appeared with us here in the past, atheist broadcaster Reggie Finley, also know as “The Infidel Guy,” and Dr. Anthony Pinn an author of The African American Religious Experience in America, and African American Humanist Principles: Living and Thinking Like the Children of Nimrod. All three are active in their communities and will tell us about their personal journeys as well as their ideas.

And if that wasn’t enough- joining us in the studio will be a fourth African American – Sibanye, leader of the Harlem Freethinkers, a group which meets regularly to discuss issues of relevance to the Black Community from a humanistic and naturalistic perspective.