October 3, 2020

Obituary Julia Gay Groberg Blair passed away at home on Monday, September 21, 2020 in Provo, Utah, surrounded by her daughters. She was born to Delbert and Jennie Holbrook Groberg on December 28, 1932 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where she grew up. A talented actress and violinist, she majored in English at BYU, where she met her husband, Robert Wallace Blair. They were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on August 17th, 1954. Shortly after Julia graduated from BYU, she… Read more

August 21, 2020

No. Here’s the Democratic National Convention pledge on one night. And here.  Another night. Apparently, there was an incident wherein the person saying the pledge omitted “Under God.” Was it a political statement? Could have been. Perhaps the person reciting the pledge is an atheist or religiously opposed to invoking God in a political context. Is that okay? Well, read the first amendment to answer that. Does that mean that Democrats are trying to change the Pledge of Allegiance to delete God?… Read more

August 7, 2020

After taking the plea deal, Maye was released from jail. She had spent seven months behind bars and often in the medical unit. I was with her when she had a court appearance. She was again her stunning self, dressed and coiffed beautifully. The prosecutor did a double take, which I noticed. He had been dealing with a traumatized woman in an orange jumpsuit, and she now stood before him like a queen. She gave birth to her daughter soon… Read more

August 6, 2020

Maye’s attorneys met with her. This is her description of the meeting. I am pasting it from her communication with me and making modifications only to protect identities. Given that  [the judge] has shown and verbalized his bias and prejudice against me before I ever stepped foot in his court room, I’m told he’ll never concede his presence in this case, because he attached to it far too much. Had it been a bench trial I would have been sentenced… Read more

August 5, 2020

This is the note I sent to Maye’s support team just after she was jailed: “The situation is serious. If [she] is convicted, she could spend 25 years in prison.” She was twenty-four years old at the time. Such a sentence would’ve kept her behind bars until she was forty-nine. If all twenty-seven charges had been answered with additional prison time, she could well have been looking at life in prison. In the bail reduction hearing, the public defenders chose… Read more

August 4, 2020

I knew her as a queen–a literal queen, a tiara on her head and roses in her arms, a member of university royalty. She usually wore extensions, make-up, fashionable clothes, heels. To see her in the orange jumpsuit, her hair uncoiffed, her body appallingly thin, her affect numb, was enough to bring me to tears. I had just read the twenty-seven charges against her and was certain that the judge would dismiss them all. These were charges from her childhood!… Read more

August 3, 2020

I will not use the real names of those were involved in this case either as the accusers or as the victim. I will call the victim (which, to me, she is) Maye, which means water in Lingala. I had known Maye, a Black woman (born 1991) for much of her life. Before being placed in foster care, she had lived in a home where sexual abuse was rampant and where gang violence had directly impacted her family.  Her biological… Read more

August 2, 2020

I met Darius Gray on July 29th, 1998. We started writing our books about black Mormon pioneers later that same year. When we finished the first volume, Darius wrote a touching preface about the racism his son had experienced and why our book mattered so much to him. Our publisher, Deseret Book, had some problem with the preface. They thought that some people (white people) might be offended by it. Darius was away on a family vacation, as I recall,… Read more

July 31, 2020

This is from the book Darius Aidan Gray and I wrote, The Last Mile of the Way. (more…) Read more

July 30, 2020

The Genesis Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on October 17, 1971. The presidency comprised Ruffin Bridgeforth (president), Darius Aidan Gray (first counselor) and Eugene Orr, second counselor. This photo shows Gordon B. Hinckley with Ruffin Bridgeforth at the organization of Genesis. It was not an easy time. (more…) Read more

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