Harris Photo













We are pleased to announce that Matthew Harris and Newell Bringhurst will be here on Wednesday, Jan 13th, to discuss their new book, The Mormon Church & Blacks: A Documentary History (published by the University of Illinois Press). They will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.—speaking at 6:00—and will answer questions and sign books before and after that time. We hope you will be able to make that night but, if not, we can mail signed copies or hold them here at the store for pick-up. To RSVP on Facebook, click here.

mormon church and blacks

The Mormon Church and Blacks presents thirty official or authoritative Church statements on the status of African Americans in the Mormon Church. Matthew Harris and Newell Bringhurst comment on the individual documents, analyzing how they reflected uniquely Mormon characteristics and contextualizing each within the larger scope of the history of race and religion in the United States. Their analyses consider how lifting the ban shifted the status of African Americans within Mormonism, including the fact that African Americans, once denied access to certain temple rituals considered essential for Mormon salvation, could finally be considered full-fledged Latter-day Saints in both this world and the next. Throughout, Harris and Bringhurst offer an informed view of behind-the-scenes Church politicking (particularly interesting details emerge in the notes) before and after the ban. The result is an essential resource for experts and laymen alike on a much-misunderstood aspect of Mormon history and belief.

“This volume represents a long overdue documentary history of Mormonism and black priesthood denial that includes the essential primary sources on the subject. The strength here is in the twentieth and twenty-first century chapters, previously underexplored eras in the changing status of blackness within Mormonism.”

–W. Paul Reeve, author of Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness

Matthew L. Harris is a professor of history at Colorado State University-Pueblo. He is the coauthor of The Founding Fathers and the Debate over Religion in Revolutionary America.

Newell G. Bringhurst is a professor emeritus of history and political science at College of the Sequoias. He is the author of Saints, Slaves, and Blacks: The Changing Place of Blacks within Mormonism.


The Mormon Church & Blacks: A Documentary History ed. by Matthew L. Harris and Newell G. Bringhurst. University of Illinois Press, 2015. Paperback–$25.00/hardback–$85.00. 217pp.


Other Newell Bringhurst titles:

The Persistence of Polygamy: Joseph Smith and the Origins of Mormon Polygamy. John Whitmer Books, 2010. Paperback–$24.95/Hardback–$39.95

The Persistence of Polygamy: From Joseph Smith’s Martyrdom to the First Manifesto, 1844-1890. John Whitmer Books, 2014. Hardback. $39.95

The Persistence of Polygamy: Fundamentalist Mormon Polygamy from 1890 to the Present. John Whitmer Books, 2015. 631pp. Paperback–$44.95/Hardback–$59.95

Excavating Mormon Pasts: The New Historiography of the Last Half Century. Greg Kofford Books, 2012. Paperback. $31.95

Scattering of the Saints: Schism within Mormonism. John Whitmer Books, 2007. Paperback. $24.95

Shipping: Media mail (w/ tracking): $4.50 for the first book (inquire for rates on additional books). Priority, FedEx, UPS options available—inquire for details. Utah residents: add 7.05% sales tax.

3269 S Main St–Ste 250
SLC UT 84115

M-F: 10 AM-6 PM
Sat: 10 AM-3 PM
Closed Sun


Enter your e-mail address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. We will post new books, book reviews, links to event videos and more!

Join 435 other subscribers

Past Posts