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Our Lady of Victory: The Saga Of An African-American Catholic Community Paperback – April 29, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Shirley Harris-Slaughter is a Michigan native. She was baptized into the Catholic faith with her family as a child and attended Our Lady of Victory School. Shirley lived the history growing up in this West Eight Mile Community and is uniquely qualified to write about it. She watched helplessly as her parish lost its history and identity. Her love of history has propelled her to write about this parish, Our Lady of Victory, and correct its omission from the pages of history. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Cleary University in Howell, Michigan. She is married to Langston and lives in Oak Park.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (April 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1499133995
  • ISBN-13: 978-1499133998
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,309,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community by Shirley Harris Slaughter is a most enlightening and informative history of the Black Catholic Church. Truthfully, I had no idea there was an appreciable number of African-Americans in this country who are of the Catholic faith.

I was rather appalled to learn of the amount of racial predjudice the founders of Our Lady of Victory encountered from the church itself in their heroic struggles to build and run a Catholic church in their neighborhood. Not to mention the problems they encountered with their understandable desires to employ an African-American priest to ministor to the congregation. I applaud all those who fought so long and tirelessly to bring their dream to fruition, and mourn with them that they have not, as yet, quite acheived that dream.

As a Fantasy Author, I rarely tread into historical territory beyond doing research for my own novels. However, the trailer for the book on Twitter caught my eye, and once I had purchased Our Lady of Victory and started reading, I was in for the long haul. I was impressed with the thoroughness of Ms. Slaughter's research, and her ability to put so much data in toan organized and comprehensive novel.

I highly recommend Our Lady of Victory to everyone.

Carol Marrs Phipps, Author of Elf Killers and The Heart of the Staff series
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Format: Kindle Edition
I rarely read non-fiction because authors often get too caught up in the facts and the book ends up reading like an episode of 60 minutes. Personally, I want a book to reach me on an emotional level, regardless of the genre or subject matter. Our Lady of Victory did exactly that, and did it perfectly. Ms. Slaughter wrote a book that was filled with well-researched facts and information, but was (thankfully) missing the dry narration that often ruins non-fiction books for me. This book was emotional; it was genuine, it was tragic, and it was real. This story of one black church in Detroit held my attention from beginning to end, largely because it was a look into two worlds (the black community and the Catholic Church) that I knew very little about. The racism factor didn't surprise me too terribly much, but what I found amazing as I read these pages was the discounting of black churches by the powers-that-be in the Catholic Church itself! Why wouldn't black Catholics want a church of their own, and why weren't those churches treated the same as their white counterparts? I am not a Catholic, so I have NO clue what makes that branch of religion tick. But I do know that, according to both our county and God, all men are created equal. I find it very sad when people with the "right" intentions forget that because those are the people who so often do the most damage. This is an excellent book, and I strongly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
I happened onto this book by accident and I am so greatful I did. Author Shirley Harris-Slaughter wrote an incredibly compelling story of the roots of success of a growing Black Catholic community and parish, Our Lady of Victory in Detroit, MI. She highlights both the joys and struggles of the parishioners in their evolution of both the parish school & church. The book takes the reader on a trip, from the literal movement of the old St. Juliana Church, to the early beginnings of this Black Catholic neighborhood, to the immense contributions of the early priests and nuns, to the sad ongoing neglect of the Archdiocese of Detroit. This book is a must for any reader searching for religious perseverence, especially in the Black Catholic community. Follow the strides this parish made over its numerous years of existence, their immense comaraderie and their sorrows. The photos, both interior and exterior of this lovely church and school bring the reader to the world of yesteryear. Ms. Slaughter is one of the most gifted and talented writers around. Her story is both balanced and heartfelt. Five Stars! I truly enjoyed this cover to cover.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Last summer I read "Warmth of Other Suns" by Isabelle Wilkerson, so was very eager to follow that brilliant epic tale of black migration with specifics local to one of the primary destinations, Detroit. Having grown-up Catholic in the late '50s, I was also eager to hear the inside story of Our Lady of Victory. From an historical perspective, this book doesn't disappoint. Shirley Slaughter writes with precision. She establishes quick trust with her reader by remaining very objective even when reporting situations of obvious frustration. The declarative style may irk those who seek a cathartic experience and deeper understanding of this aspect of the African American story. Although some emotions inevitably do penetrate, for the most part, Ms. Slaughter is true to her task---reporting the facts. I sincerely hope she writes another period piece that explores (interviews?) her own feelings and/or the feelings of other parishioners with another layer of emotional depth. For now, this is a beautiful portrait of an endearing community of hardworking believers who endured much bias and disappointment. I am richer for having read it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone who grew up Roman Catholic, listening to my mother’s stories of growing up Catholic in the 1950s, this book really touched my heart. Though I am white and the church in this history is African American, I still found many commonalities with my family’s experiences, especially in the stories of the nuns who did much of the work in many churches and schools of the time. The author explores the story of Our Lady of Victory from several angles: her own experiences growing up in the church, the history of the church leaders, and the politics and social life of Detroit during the post-World War II years. She does not shy from addressing the racism in both the Catholic archdiocese and the civil society of the time, nor does she mince words on what she sees as the causes of the church’s eventual closing. Anyone with an interest in Catholic church history, racism, or the stories of the Black migration north would find much to like in this well-researched, emotional work.
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