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 September. O'Donovan's research reveals why Mormon leader Brigham Young banned black men from holding 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 The race-based ban was rescinded in 1978.