LOS ANGELES (CBS) — In a month when iconic spiritual leaders in the African-American community are honored across the nation, one group wants the world to know that church leaders don’t speak for everyone in the Southland.
Members of Black Skeptics Los Angeles are calling for local “freethinkers” to participate in a national “Day of Solidarity for Black Non-Believers” aimed at promoting “community and solidarity among blacks in America who identify as non-believers”.
The event set for Feb. 26 is part of an ad campaign by African Americans For Humanism (AAH) planned in Los Angeles and five other major U.S. cities targeting African-Americans who have privately or openly questioned their faith.
The ads are already fueling controversy in Dallas as the campaign made its debut Monday with a billboard reading, “Doubts about religion? You’re one of many.” erected within one mile of several area churches.
Each ad will also feature an image of historic black leaders like social reformer Frederick Douglass or poet Langston Hughes along with a contemporary black atheist.
In its mission statement, African Americans For Humanism said it holds religion responsible for “many of the problems plaguing the African American community” and wants to focus its efforts on “rational and scientific methods of inquiry” that include “positive thinking, the sharing of ideas, and enlightened self-interest”.
In addition to L.A., billboards are also expected to go up in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington DC, and Durham.