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A collection of RadioWest conversations about LDS history, faith, and culture.

Black and Mormon Today

Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

This month marks 40 years since the LDS Church extended the priesthood to black men of their faith. Friday, we’re talking about what it’s like to be black and Mormon in 2018.

RadioWest divider.

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the “Revelation on the Priesthood.” Before June 1978, black members of the LDS Church could not hold the priesthood or participate in temple ceremonies central to the faith. But while the Church marks the occasion with a celebration, many black Mormons are reeling from a recent hoax-apology in the Church’s name that momentarily offered a vision of healing from the racist past. Friday, we’re talking about what it’s like to be black and Mormon in 2018.

Explore more coverage of Race and the Mormon Church from KUER.


  • KUER religion reporter Lee Hale
  • LaShawn Williams is an assistant professor of Social Work at Utah Valley University and a life-long member of the LDS Church. She currently serves as a Sunday school teacher for adolescents.
  • James Jones is a musician based in Boston. He's also a lifelong Mormon. He served a mission in South Africa and is currently serving in the Elders Quorum Presidency and on his Stake public affairs committee.
  • Williams and Jones are organizers of the Legacy of Black LDS Pioneers Conference. It's being held June 2, 2018, in Sandy, Utah, and you can get more information on their Facebook event page.
  • Friday, June 1, 2018, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commemorates the 40th anniversary of the lifting of the priesthood ban with an event called Be One. That begins at 7:30 p.m. mountain daylight time at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. It can also be live-streamed at LDS.org.
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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