Special Feature

Saints, Slaves, & Blacks: The Changing Pace of Black People Within Mormonism
February 26, 2020
Special Feature
Saints, Slaves, & Blacks: The Changing Pace of Black People Within Mormonism
Author BYU Studies Staff

To continue Black History Month, we are also featuring Saints, Slaves, and Blacks which draws on historical and scriptural sources to examine the history of Latter-day Saint thought regarding blacks. Author Newell Bringhurst notes that when the first edition of the book was published in 1981, “it attracted limited notice both within and outside the Mormon community.” Bringhust chalks the oversight up to bad timing—it was published just three years after the 1978 revelation lifting the priesthood ban, when “Mormons of all stripes” were “anxious to move on, focused on embracing their black brethren and sisters as ecclesiastical equals while ignoring the Church’s recently abandoned practice of black priesthood denial and prohibition on African-American entry into the temple” (xvi). Because of the book’s relatively limited circulation, this second edition is intended to make Bringhurst’s groundbreaking work available to wider audiences and introduce it to a new generation of readers.