Kassandra Hatlen 10067498
In the article “Confessions of a Black Atheist”, CNN 28 March 2015, written by Mandisa Thomas (http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/28/living/black-atheist-confession/index.html) discusses the misrepresentation of the Black population being predominantly religious. American Atheists are strongly represented by white males; however this does not mean that there are not minorities who identify themselves as atheists as well. African-American atheists are a reasonably small group. This is due to the fact that religion is strongly tied to their history and culture; therefore many identify themselves as believers in God. Given the fact that majority of the Black community are religious it is often difficult to discuss any objections one may have let alone identify as an atheist. Thomas endured ostracism because of her atheist beliefs. As a result she started an organization called Black Nonbelievers which has allowed Black atheists to connect with one another and escape the discrimination they received in their families. The number of visible Black atheists is quite small; however they continue to grow and with organizations such as Black Nonbelievers changes are being made in regards to discrimination and acceptance.
It is very disappointing that again and again people do not have the freedom within their lives to believe in what they want to. I understand the disappointment a family may have if a loved one chooses to leave their religion; however I do not think they should discriminate or isolate them because of it. People experience different things over their lifetimes and as a result their beliefs may change. One should not be held at fault or feel alone if their life leads them in a new direction. Therefore I am happy that Thomas has created a community where people who are finding new beliefs don’t have to feel alone. I hope that one day people feel they have the freedom to stray from their beliefs and religion, identify themselves however they see fit and that they won’t face ostracism or discrimination of any sort.