On the Eve of my Father’s Death

I am writing this at 6:35 p.m. on February 18, 2017.  A year ago at this time, I was preparing to do a presentation at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City with my co-author, Darius Gray.  My brother, Dell, was going to film it.  We had great artifacts for our audience to view, and we had our power points ready.  Darius, whose health has been terrible for several years, told me that he was particularly weak and asked that I carry the program.  We had done this many times before, and it was … [Read more...]

The Play: More Important Now than Ever Before?

I think I slept for a month after the first production of I Am Jane. I was completely exhausted. I was the playwright, costume designer, set designer, and director of this play about black Mormon pioneer Jane Manning James. I have since learned to delegate.We filled the chapel and more for that production, and in some ways it marked the time when the Genesis Group got big and started getting attention. In the audience was one of Jane's descendants, who had already labeled the play … [Read more...]

Len Hope–in his own words

This is the story of Len and Mary Hope, black converts to Mormonism. Len was baptized just before WWI near Magnolia, Alabama, and Mary later on in Cincinnati. When they first attended church, they were asked not to return. Their response was, "Can we still pay our tithing?" Len and Mary became dear friends with Elder Marion D. Hanks, one of the missionaries who went to their home monthly and served them the sacrament. After the sacrament the Hope family and the missionaries would sing and … [Read more...]