By Allen, Norm R., Jr.
This collection demonstrates the strong influence that humanism and free-thought had in developing the history and ideals of black intellectualism. Most people are quick to note the profound influence that religion has played in African-American history: consoling the downtrodden... slave or inspiring the abolitionists, the underground railroad, and the civil rights movement. But few are aware of the role humanism played in shaping the black experience: developing the thought and motivating the actions of powerful African-American intellectuals.Read more
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Norm R. Allen Jr. is a writer and secular humanist activist. On August 31, 1989, Allen founded African Americans for Humanism, the first organization focused on the promotion of humanism and humanist ideals among people of African descent. He was the executive director of the organization from 1991 to 2010 as well as editor of its quarterly, the AAH Examiner. He also edited African American Humanism: An Anthology (1991) and The Black Humanist Experience: An Alternative to Religion (2003). Allen views secular humanism, a human-centered approach to living drawing upon reason, science, and secular ideals and guided by empathy and compassion, as particularly relevant for African Americans because in the narrative of American history black freethinkers have largely been ignored. In 1995 Allen wrote a major statement in defense of evolution and against creationism and intelligent design for Voices for Evolution, a publication of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). AAH was the only black organization to participate in this project. Since 1997 Allen has appeared on a number of nationally televised programs including the O'Reilly Factor, BBC News, and C-Span. He has also been featured on National Public Radio (NPR) and in other media outlets. Allen is currently the secretary of the Institute for Science and Human Values and editor of the Institute's journal, The Human Prospect. He also writes a regular column titled Reasonings for the Institute's website. Allen is at work on his third book, Secular, Successful and Black, and continues to write numerous articles while traveling the world promoting secular humanism and skepticism.
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