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How Mormons Became a Racial Category #BlackHistoryMonth

Dr. Paul Reeve – Prof of History, University of Utah.

In today’s world, Mormonism is seen as a predominantly white church, but in Joseph Smith’s day, it was perceived as just the opposite.  Mormons were considered so different back then that many scientists and doctors thought a new race was coming from the Great Basin Kingdom.  How did outsiders get such strange ideas?  Dr. Paul Reeve, professor of history at the University of Utah will help us answer that question.

Please click on the link to listen, but I wanted to share a few quotes from Paul that I really enjoyed from the interview. Continue reading How Mormons Became a Racial Category #BlackHistoryMonth

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Race is a Touchy Subject #BlackHistoryMonth

As part of #BlackHistoryMonth, we continue our conversation with Margaret Young and she tells about her attempts to get her play about black Mormon Pioneer Jane Manning James televised, (don’t forget to check out part 1 of our conversation), but the project was quashed as some executives were concerned about the topic, despite Jane’s faithfulness to the end of her life.

Margaret also discusses ways she and her family have tried to combat racism in her life, including a disappointing experience with a seminary teacher.  She talks about her experiences learning about the lifting of the ban in 1978, and, when asked about what we can learn from Jane’s life, says

“I want Jane’s story to be certainly an example how far we still need to come.  If there are people who regard blacks as less than, their hearts must change.  Jane is an example of one who persevered through trials that we could hardly imagine, and did it through her relationship with God and praised God throughout.”

Listen in, and find out who we will be talking to next!

If you’re interested in a transcript, click here!  (You can also get one for your Kindle at Amazon.com!)

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“Is there no blessing for me?” #BlackHistoryMonth

Rick Bennett, Darius Gray, and Margaret Young

I’m excited to post our first podcast!  I interviewed Margaret Young, a professor of English and Literature at BYU on the life of black Mormon Pioneer Jane Manning James.  Listen to Margaret describe Jane’s conversion in Wilton, Connecticut, Jane’s travel by foot to Nauvoo, and her intimate relationship with every prophet from Joseph Smith through her death under President Wilford Woodruff.  Especially interesting is Jane’s unusual sealing to the Prophet Joseph.  It’s a truly inspiring tale, and I thank Margaret for sitting down with me to discuss Jane’s life.  I hope you’ll come back when I post part 2 of our discussion with Margaret about her experiences dealing with race.

Continue reading “Is there no blessing for me?” #BlackHistoryMonth