From Publishers Weekly
In 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reversed a longstanding ban by granting the lay priesthood to all worthy men, regardless of race. In this book, eight scholars weigh in on the history of the ban, the present role of African-Americans in Mormon life and the residue of earlier racism. The editors claim that despite the 1978 revelation, the Church has done little to distance itself from damaging folk doctrines of the past, and "needs to forthrightly confront its past history of racial exclusion and discrimination." The book's best essays are Alma Allred's fascinating analysis of racial themes in LDS scripture; Armand Mauss's summary of post-1978 developments; and Ken Driggs's on-the-ground report of a successful, racially mixed Mormon congregation in Atlanta. Like other scholarly anthologies on narrow topics, this collection contains some repetition of ideas, case reports and anecdotes, but it is one of the most far-reaching studies of black Mormons to date.
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"Bringhurst and Smith have edited an outstanding series of essays on the problems of racism among the Mormons and the exclusion of African American men from the priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."