September 11, 2006
Biography of early black Mormon honored
UCSC Summer Session program manager Connell O'Donovan has won a $500 scholarship and a trip to the John Whitmer Historical Association annual conference for his biography of Walker Lewis (1798-1856), an important Boston abolitionist and early black Mormon. The conference will be in October in Independence, Missouri.
O'Donovan's biography, "The Mormon Priesthood Ban and
Elder Q. Walker Lewis: 'An Example for His More Whiter Brethren
to Follow,' " is slated to be published in the annual journal
of the John Whitmer Historical Association this month. O'Donovan's
research reveals why Mormon leader Brigham Young banned black
men from becoming Mormon priests beginning in 1847. Young's
actions on the issue have long been of interest among Mormon
historians. The race-based ban was rescinded in 1978.