• Mormonism and White Supremacy

  • American Religion and the Problem of Racial Innocence
  • By: Joanna Brooks
  • Narrated by: Pam Ward
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

To this day, churchgoing Mormons report that they hear from their fellow congregants in Sunday meetings that African Americans are the accursed descendants of Cain whose spirits - due to their lack of spiritual mettle in a premortal existence - were destined to come to Earth with a "curse" of black skin. This claim can be made in many Mormon Sunday Schools without fear of contradiction. You are more likely to encounter opposition if you argue that the ban on the ordination of Black Mormons was a product of human racism. Like most difficult subjects in Mormon history and practice, says Joanna Brooks, the priesthood and temple ban on Blacks has been managed carefully in LDS institutional settings with a combination of avoidance, denial, selective truth-telling, and determined silence.

As America begins to come to terms with the costs of White privilege to Black lives, this book urges a soul-searching examination of the role American Christianity has played in sustaining everyday white supremacy by assuring White people of their innocence. In Mormonism and White Supremacy, Joanna Brooks offers an unflinching look at her own people's history and culture and finds in them lessons that will hit home for every scholar of American religion and person of faith.

©2020 Oxford University Press (P)2020 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Mormonism and White Supremacy

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The author clearly has a grudge against the LDS church. 80% fiction woven with 20% church history

Tying the church to white supremacy is not base on any facts. The LDS church has more non- whites than white. Over the years, the church has become a very diverse church. Including members such as Arita Franklin and over 550,000 black members in Africa and the Caribbean. They also have temples (meaning large church populations) in numerous African countries. If you want to find out the truth about the LDS church, you should skip this author. There must be an agenda for this distortion of facts and some clear opinions not based in fact.

17 people found this helpful

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Vituperative and Misleading

Very repetitive. Endless similar points. Sweeping allegations of an entire population.

One note story.

The narration is akin to fingers scraping across a blackboard.

13 people found this helpful

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Twisted Facts - Bitter Author

"...Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color..."
"There has never been a Churchwide policy of segregated congregations.
During the first two decades of the Church’s existence, a few black men were ordained to the priesthood. One of these men, Elijah Abel, also participated in temple ceremonies in Kirtland, Ohio, and was later baptized as proxy for deceased relatives in Nauvoo, Illinois. There is no reliable evidence that any black men were denied the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime." - lds org

6 people found this helpful

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Respectful, historical and accurate.

Loved this book. Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints should read this.

3 people found this helpful

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faithful, honest, humble

well-recorded, excellent soul-searching, solid research, & somehow simultaneously even-handed & uncompromising

congratulations on a job well-done.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J
  • 07-06-21

A must read for Mormons and non-Mormons who want to understand the church’s history with racism

2020 got me reading a variety of books about American racism, including “Caste,” “The New Jim Crow,” “Color of Law,” and “How to be an Anti-Racist,” in order to understand more completely the issue of racism in America. However, I could not find a reliable book describing the racist history of my own faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka LDS or Mormons). This book has been a Godsend (pun intended), and references another book “Religion of another Color” by Paul Reece that I will read next.

To me, this book answers many why questions about the Church’s ban on black Africans holding the priesthood / serving in temples I have been struggling with for decades. It also urges action succinctly like no other book I’ve read on the subject. I listened, but I also just bought the hardcover to share with friends and family… and especially to teach my own children so they don’t grow up and feel disillusioned like I did when I learned of the ban in my later teens.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent insight and a powerful call to action

I knew racism was a part of the Mormon church, I just had no idea it was so pervasive and systematic, from the top down. This takes all the weak explanations for the priesthood ban and not just rejects them, but calls individual Mormons out for perpetuating AND silently allowing such racist reasoning to go on unchallenged.

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Excellent research, highly recommend

The author provides a thorough review of LDS theology related to race- from the time of Joseph Smith through the civil rights period and including current events. It ends up being a very well written call to repentance for the entire church. The book gives me hope we can shed our racist past and become a more powerful source for good in the future.

I did not detect “anti-Mormon bias” as some other reviewers allege. However, I would say this is not a book I would recommend for my parents to read. I doubt anyone aligned with the GOP or anyone who likes Fox News will have anything positive to say about the book.

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False information

This author is clearly biased and out to destroy people's faith. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or "Mormons" I've rarely encountered these beliefs she claims we cling to. Sure there's the rare radicals that have weird distorted beliefs, you'll find them in every organization throughout the world, religious or not. 99.9 percent of members disavow these theories and if they were brought up in Sunday school they would be shut down VERY quickly. One of the leaders of our local congregation is a black man and he is the most powerfully spiritual person I know. He's everyone's favorite person and like all the leaders in our local congregation he's treated with nothing but love and respect.

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Another slimy excuse from Mormons to avoid and justify their racism

This was scary and concerning that we yet have another white privileged person who tries to whitewash how their religion isn’t so bad if they just make up or find evidence of more liberal Mormons in their past.
Those that are Mormons I would avoid this book and not buy in mor let it justify the church’s long history of racism.
Look up several murders of Native American tribes in Utah as well.
Free your mind! Mormons are good at brainwashing!