Title of Presentation: Black Freethinkers and the Harlem Renaissance
Date & Time: Saturday, June 1 3:00 pm
Location: Del Mar
Presentation Summary: The term “Black Atheists” is considered an oxymoron within the African American and atheist communities alike. However, contrary to popular belief, atheism is not new to the black community. Watson’s discussion will cover Harlem Renaissance, an era which gave birth to some of the most influential freethinkers of color.
Biography: Ayanna Watson was born and raised in New York. Attending a Christian-based high school, she was required to study the Bible. During this time, her studies of Christianity ultimately led her to reject the Bible. As an undergraduate, she continued her analysis of religion. She began to realize the impact that religion played in society, particularly in underrepresented communities. Upon becoming an atheist, she further realized the lack of diversity within the atheist community. This realization led her to form the organization Black Atheists of America, Inc. (BAAm). Ayanna is a practicing attorney in NY.