About Margaret Blair Young

Margaret Blair Young teaches literature and creative writing at Brigham Young University. For the past fifteen years, she has specialized in the history of blacks in the west, particularly black Mormons. She has written six novels and two short story collections, but has lately become interested in filmmaking. Her current endeavor is a film to be shot in Zambia called Heart of Africa (www.heartofafricafilm.com)

Invisible Women and The Winter’s Tale

hermione statue

The best role for a female Shakespearean actor is Hermione in The Winter's Tale.  Hermione, though absent for much of the play, dominates it with her nobility and grace.  Unlike Rosalind or Portia or others of Shakespeare's strong women, Hermione never puts on a man's clothes to show her power.  She is already empowered.  She states it herself when she is brought to trial for adultery, of which she is innocent. Since what I am to say must be but that Which contradicts my accusation and The tes … [Read more...]

Book Signings–how to do them successfully

meet mormons gray and armstrong

This is a serious post.I personally hate book signings.  I did my first one twenty-six years ago.  I know when it was, because my twenty-six-year-old daughter was in a baby carrier.  I was still carrying the "I just had a baby" belly and trying to look glamorous.  There was another book signer next to me.  She was actually glamorous, and she had a prop which was not a baby.  She had a beauty queen.  A real one.  Crown on head, mini-skirt revealing perfect legs, sash across her torso identif … [Read more...]

How Do We Overcome Prejudice?

kendell and olama

This is a guest post by Kendell Coburn, a young man who was called to be a missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and served in Cameroon. He was in the MTC branch which my husband and I helped with. When I was filming in the Congo last August, I met a young Cameroonian man, Jean-Claude Olama, who had just finished his mission and was headed back to Cameroon the next day. I mentioned Kendell Coburn's name, and Elder Olama said, "He baptized me!" Kendell and I talked after I returned to … [Read more...]

Studio C and Heart of Africa: The Miracles of Stacey Harkey and Mallory Everton

mallory filming trailer

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to cast a play at Brigham Young University with a predominantly black cast? Of 30,000 students, there are 300 blacks, African and African American. Five years ago when we were mounting the play I Am Jane, I nabbed Charlie Beacham, a friend of mine, African American, who had been an important influence on my son when we we were doing a semester abroad in England. He said he couldn’t act, and I promised him we’d wring acting out of him. We had him audition, … [Read more...]

Yes, I do believe that the Mormon Church’s missionary program is among the solutions to Racism.

I did a guest post for Jana Reiss.http://janariess.religionnews.com/2015/02/13/will-mormon-missionaries-lead-way-racism/ … [Read more...]

The Story Behind the Footage of that Last Scene

The final scene in the Kickstarter video for Heart of Africa shows two young men, one white and one black, embracing tearfully. The audience surely senses their closeness, but won’t know their history.Jared Wigginton, the Anglo in that scene, was in the Missionary Training Center branch where my husband and I served. He was one of the missionaries headed to the Democratic Republic of Congo. When he let us know that we could email him, he became the first of my adopted sons—eventually tot … [Read more...]

We Greet the Golden Morning

mom as young woman

Robert Wallace Blair was raised with one sister (Carolyn) and many animals—including this horse, Jupiter, and a dog, Trixy, who would follow the boy on his horse to uncharted territory in Santa Barbara, California.He had a gift for language and a hunger for faith, and united both in his LDS mission to Finland from 1951-1954. Upon his return, he attended the largest marriage academy on earth: Brigham Young University.Julia Gay Groberg was a musician, an actress, and often described as a “ … [Read more...]


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