[Reproduced from the first issue of the AAH Examiner, the official newsletter of African Americans for Humanism (AAH).]
This is the premier issue of The AAH Examiner, the first newsletter of its kind. The mission of this newsletter is to explain what Humanism means, and has meant, to the African American community. Traditionally, the African American community has been viewed as one over which religion holds a mesmerizing influence. But there exist thousands of African Americans who are unchurched, or who have a nonreligious life stance. The AAH Examiner has been founded to help meet their strong need to network with like-minded individuals. The need for critical thinking in the world community is great. In the Black community in particular, many have been conned by self-promoting "faith-healers," juju priests, pseudoscientific hucksters, dogmatic revisionist historians, dishonest journalists, demagogues, and others who have merely taken advantage of an unsuspecting public. Until now, there has not been a publication dedicated to thoroughly analyzing untested claims to knowledge and to boldly defending free inquiry from a Black perspective. Humanism cuts across class lines and defies political categorization. Liberals, conservatives, radicals, libertarians, capitalists, socialists, communists, African communalists, anarchists, Afrocentrists, and Eurocentrists can all be Humanists. Some Humanists are very critical of religion, and some view it in a positive light. But Humanism has at its core the belief that the welfare of humanity -- rather than divinity -- is of central importance. Humanists further believe, in the words of the great freethinker Robert G. Ingersoll: "All the wisdom and genius in the world cannot produce an argument against freedom of thought." We intend to bring The AAH Examiner to a number of open-minded individuals who will undoubtedly differ among themselves on many issues. This is what free inquiry is all about. It is our intention to critically appraise social, historical, and religious positions whose claims have not been sufficiently evaluated, so that readers can reach their own conclusions, and live their lives as they see fit.