Of Black Mormons and Romney

Not even delving into the issue that a number of conservatives don’t have much love for Willard -

This article delves into the mixed feelings of Black Mormons…

Black Mormons Face Tough Election Choice Between Romney And Obama

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Early Black Mormons

Twenty years ago, who would have predicted the 2012 U.S. presidential race would pit a black incumbent against a white Mormon?

“I’ve been black my whole life and a Mormon for 30 years and never thought either of these (candidacies) would happen in my lifetime,” says Utah attorney Keith Hamilton.

“This is a day that all Americans should take some solace in — that things are changing. Regardless of who wins, this sends a message to our children.”

Darius Gray, former head of Genesis, a long-standing support group for black Mormons, sees this historic choice between two members of traditionally outsider groups as evidence of a “marked change for this nation, a maturing too long in coming. You can take joy that both groups are now players on the scene.”

Unlike white Mormons, the vast majority of whom side with Republicans, African-Americans overwhelmingly vote Democratic. So black Mormons look at Obama, the Democrat, and Romney, the Republican, and find themselves caught between political perspectives: Many still lean liberal, others have switched parties after joining the church, and some find themselves going back and forth.

Not so long ago, there were very few black Mormons even to consider.

Until 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints barred blacks from its all-male priesthood. After that landmark shift 34 years ago, missionaries found some success winning black converts, but African-Americans still represent only about 3 percent of the Mormons’ 6 million U.S. members. Continue reading

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