Atheists of Color: Updating the List


Please note: This post has a different comment policy than my standard one. Please read the entire piece to the end before commenting. It’s not that long.

A couple of years ago, I compiled a list of prominent atheists of color, and organizations of atheists of color, here on this blog. I did this for a number of reasons: mostly so that conference organizers, event organizers for local and student groups, anthology editors, bloggers, journalists, and people who are simply participants in the atheist community could easily be made familiar with the work of a wider range of atheists… a range that’s more diverse, and more reflective of the actual makeup of the atheist community. (tl;dr: Conference organizers, you no longer have an excuse. :-) )

The list is now somewhat out of date, and I’d like to update it. Please let me know in the comments if you know any of the following:

People/ organizations who should be on the list but aren’t. IMPORTANT: Please don’t just list their name! I need their name, the URL for their blog/ website if they have one, and a SHORT list of credentials: books, blogs, publications they write for, achievements, etc. Compiling and updating this list is enough work without having to do a ton of Googling.
Also important: Please DO NOT hesitate to nominate yourself for this list! If you’re an atheist of color and you’re any sort of public figure, either within the atheist community or outside of it — blogger, community organizer, scholar, scientist, author, artist, musician, activist, whatever — please let me know. Again, please provide your name, URL for your blog/ website if you have one, and a SHORT list of your credentials. And if you’re already on the list, but your information is incorrect or incomplete, please let me know.
People/ organizations who are on the list but shouldn’t be. If there’s anyone on this list who isn’t actually an atheist, or has stopped identifying as an atheist since this list was first created, or is no longer a public figure and has dropped off the radar, please let me know. Also, if anyone on this list is now dead, please let me know: this is meant to be a list of atheists of color who are alive and active now. And if any of the organizations on the list have since folded, please let me know.
NOTE ABOUT BLOGGERS: If a blogger hasn’t updated their blog in six months, and hasn’t stated on their blog that they’re taking a hiatus and plan to return, I’m going to drop them from the list, unless someone gives me a strong argument for keeping them on.
Up to date credentials/ biographical info. If the credentials/ biographical info for anyone on this list is out of date — if people have new books, new blogs, new positions at their organizations, if they’re working for different organizations, etc. — please let me know.
Up to date URLs. If you know the URLs for any of the people on this list who don’t have URLs listed? If there are URLs on this list that are out of date, and you know the current URL? Please let me know.

Once again, here’s a link to the original list.

A couple of notes on what I’m looking for here:

First: This is not intended to be a list of famous atheists of color throughout history. That would certainly be an awesomely useful project (and if anyone knows of this project existing, please speak up!) — but it’s not this project. This is meant to be a list af atheists of color who are alive and active now.

Second, and very importantly: I do not want to get into an argument here about why we need this list, or how we should just be color blind and ignore race altogether. In a perfect world, maybe we wouldn’t need it. We don’t live in a perfect world. Among other things, well- meaning people can unconsciously perpetuate racial bias without intending to… and we need to take conscious action to counter this unconscious tendency. If you think the atheist movement doesn’t need to make a conscious effort to be more inclusive, then please read these pieces:

Getting It Right Early: Why Atheists Need to Act Now on Gender and Race
Race, Gender, and Atheism, Part 2: What We Need To Do — And Why

And if, after reading those pieces — not skimming them or reading the titles, but actually reading them — you still think we don’t need to make a conscious effort to be more inclusive of people of color, then please make your arguments ON THOSE POSTS. Not here. Comments here arguing that we don’t need this list will be disemvoweled or deleted. This post is for people who will find this list useful and informative, and/or who want to make suggestions about keeping it accurate and up to date.

I do welcome some degree of debate here about whether a particular person should or should not be included: are they really an atheist, are they prominent enough (although I’ll tend to err on the side of inclusion there), etc. But I do not welcome debate here about whether this list should exist. Thank you.

Third: Please make your suggestions here, in comments on this blog. Please do not email them to me. I do want there to be an opportunity for public discussion about additions, deletions, or other changes. (And I’m somewhat concerned about assholes trying to troll the list: that’ll be less easy to do if there are eyes on the process other than mine.) Also, it’s easier for me to manage this if all the revisions are in one place. Thanks!

Note: I know that there are problems/ issues with the phrase “people of color” (among other things, it lumps together people from widely divergent cultural backgrounds as if not being white was the same experience for everyone). In general, I’m trying to step away from using it. In this case, though, I’m going to stick with the phrase, imperfect though it is: brevity is key here, and anyway this list has a lot of people linking to it and citing it and searching for it, and I don’t want to screw that up.

Oh, and in case you’re not already aware of it: here, in a similar vein, is a large list of awesome female atheists, compiled by Jen McCreight at BlagHag.)

Thanks for your help!

Comments

  1. anothersara says

    How about Stanley Huang?

    He is a Taiwanese-American singer. His acheivement which is most relevant to atheist activism is his song “Atheist Like Me” (“Atheist Like Me” is also the name of his 5th album, though none of the other songs have an atheist them).

    Alas, the only website I can find is mostly in Chinese:
    http://www.goldtyphoon.com/pop/stanley/

  2. says

    Is there any way to get and include the listees’ general stomping grounds? It would be helpful to people using the list to know if a possible speaker is reasonably local. Organizers usually don’t have a lot of money: I know that I would rather invite people in BC or Oregon to Seattle than try to bring someone in from DC or Atlanta.

  3. says

    Xavier Trapp (@Rev_Xavier on Twitter) – member, Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta. Blogger, http://thereverendxavier.blogspot.ca/. Co-host, SERIOUSLY?! podcast.

    Robert Reece (@PhuzzieSlippers) – blogger, furiousandbrave.com

    Darrel ‘Reasonheimer’ Smith – author/editor, BlackNones book (http://www.facebook.com/Reasonheimer?fref=ts, http://blacknones.com/)

    Heina Dadabhoy – blogger, Skepchick.com. Author, ‘A Skeptic’s Guide to Islam’. Speaker. Bon-vivant.

    Renee Martin – blogger/blogmeister, Womanist Musings (http://www.womanist-musings.com/)

    Anti-Intellect (@Anti_Intellect) – blogger (http://antiintellect.wordpress.com/), Twitter personality, gay activist

    Andrew Ti – Tumblr (http://yoisthisracist.com/), comedian

  4. Sastra says

    One of the women on Jen’s list at BlagHag should probably also be on the Atheists of Color list: Meera Nanda

    She’s from India, and a fierce proponent of scientific thinking and critic of eastern religion and pseudoscience.

  5. axemaiden says

    Crommunist @ #3

    While Renee Martin @ Womanist Musings lists herself as a Humanist in her bio, she’s also a practising Christian.

  6. says

    Although AJ Johnson should be on this list, she is no longer the Development Director for American Atheists: http://atheists.org/staff

    That being said, she’s now blogging and an amazing asset to the movement.

    Greta, I’m glad you are doing this. I have started a blog series called Shades of Black Atheism and will be highlighting the very individuals that you are seeking out: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/01/01/shades-of-black-atheism-1-lauren-anderson-youngblood/

    I would add Kim Veal of Black Freethinkers: http://blackfreethinkers.com/blog-talk-radio/
    Felicia Smith is the VP of Black Nonbelievers
    Sam Jackson is an Assistant Campus Organizer at the SSA: http://www.secularstudents.org/staff
    Peach Braxton (popular vlogger): http://www.youtube.com/user/xxxThePeachxxx
    Heather Henderson of the NoGodBand, Ardent Atheist podcast (http://www.youtube.com/ArdentAtheistPodcast)

  7. says

    Renee Martin @ Womanist Musings lists herself as a Humanist in her bio, she’s also a practising Christian.

    Then she’s doing at least one of those things wrong :P

  8. says

    She’s got 7,000+ followers on Twitter, that’s pretty famous right? Harriet Thugman, aka Donnie McTwerkin is black, queer, hilarious, and bitingly sarcastic about Jesus & suchlike things. Sexy tweets too. She lives in New York and loves to dance. I don’t know her real name.

    Do Twitter celebs count? Is there a minimum follower standard or what?

  9. Bjarte Foshaug says

    Although AJ Johnson should be on this list, she is no longer the Development Director for American Atheists

    Ooops! Sorry, my fault.
    At least I got the part about belonging on the list right :P

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply