Many of you know I am exploring the church and the racist views it had/has towords african-americans.
Today I am inquiring about Mary Sturlaugson Eyer. Mary was the first african/american female to serve a full-time mission for the church. She wrote several books including "A Soul So Rebellous" and "He Restoreth My Soul".
I found this interesting comment on amazon:
Downright fullblown fabrication, May 18, 2003
My name is Sarah, and the book is SUPPOSE to be about my life along with Marys, but the story isn't entirely true. She had me sign some papers, saying it was true. I ended my friendship with her and stopped attending the LDS church because of the lies. How much money did she make off of it???? Only she and her daughter knows.
Does anyone out there have any information they can share? Any light they wish to shed on the topic?
Is Mary still around? Is she still a mormon? I have not seen or heard an referrence to her on any of the prominant black lds websites. Is she included in the film "Nobody Knows"?
My mother has the book "A Soul So Rebellous". I read it during the late 70's while I was still in jr/high school. At the time I loved it especially the part where she wants to marry a white man in the temple and I think she asks Spencer W. Kimball if it was ok. (Wrote him a letter or ???) He told her yes because there were not many black men who were worthy priestholders. I could have the details wrong of course. I have always wondered about her and what she is doing now......
Interesting.........I live in Mesa too but I have never heard of her being here. It is a big town with lots of Mormons. Maybe I need to ask around.....
please do - i find this interesting. in the 80's when she first published her books she was like an all-african american mormon folkhero. she was on the speaking circuit and everything.
now, there is some attention to black mormon's (Nobody Knows, there is a black mormon website etc.) and yet no mention of her. there isn't even a referrence to her historically, which is interesting since she was the first black female missionary for the church.
I had to log in and respond to this. I read the thread yesterday as I was lurking and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why the name "mary eyer" was familiar to me. Then it struck me, she taught middle school english (I think it was english) at Dixie Middle School in Saint George. The only significant memory I have of her is the year a kid, one of the popular ones, came to school on Halloween in blackface and dressed as Aunt Jemima. I remember that Mary freaked out, pulled him into her class and yelled at him, but if memory also serves me correctly he didn't change his costume and the rest of the faculty pretty much ignored the incident and Mary's complaints. I can't remember if she was even teaching there when I was in 9th grade, but she definitely was there when I was in 7th and 8th grade (1987-1989).
great thread. I still have her books on my bookshelves (it would raise too many questions if the books all suddenly disappeared) and have sometimes wondered how she was. Maybe she was too much of a live wire to be embraced as a 'missionary' in today's climate- she certainly asked a lo of questions!