NOBODY KNOWS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF BLACK MORMONS ****
Produced and written by: Margaret Young, Darius GrayLength: 72 minutes
OREM The untold story of black Mormons is a compelling one and a story that needs to be told, even shouted from the rooftops.
Fortunately, this film makes a good start as it explores the history, the faith and the bigotry that has existed since the origin of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Not to imply that this is a Mormon-bashing kind of movie. Quite the contrary, the simple but firm faith of the black members interviewed comes through clearly.
While there certainly is some hurt and question about why black Mormons were denied priesthood blessings and ordinations for so long, the people on screen tell their stories without anger.
From the first black man and woman's tale that of Elijah Able (ordained an elder in 1832) and Jane Manning James to Latter-day Saints like Darius Gray, Tamu Smith and Alex Boye, it's evident that faith and hope overrode their questions.
It's also clear that black Mormons have brought not only diversity and color to what is perceived by some as a "white man's church" but a new sense of unity and compassion, something needed for a church moving to bring in members from a worldwide missionary drive.
Through a series on on-camera interviews with people like Martin Luther King III, jazz musician Paul Gill and attorney-bishop Keith Hamilton, along with historical accounts, the story is powerfully told.
It makes one examine racial prejudice and mistaken perceptions about slavery, the black world and heaven.
It's a story the world needs to hear.