On Fire in Baltimore: Black Mormon Women and Conversion in a Raging City


by Laura Rutter Strickling

Available October 9, 2018

Preview the volume here.

Book Description:

When Laura Strickling moved to Baltimore as a doctoral student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, she became acquainted with the Black women in her congregation. She began interviewing the women of On Fire in Baltimore as a linguistic study, but soon discovered that their conversion narratives emerged from racially-entangled events. These devout women of color tell stories of drug addiction and rape, of nights spent in jail and days looking for work, of single motherhood and grief for lost children. Yet, their stories are also filled with visitations from heavenly beings, dreams of deceased mothers, protection from violence, and missionary messengers. They share how they reconcile their membership in a historically White church that once denied them full membership. Strickling takes the reader on an intimate journey where Black and White racialized lives meet, where she is compelled to question how her own whiteness has impacted her perspective, and where an unquenchable spiritual fire burns bright in a raging city.

About the Author:

Laura Rutter Strickling received her undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and a Master’s in Intercultural Communication and PhD in Sociocultural Linguistics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She also completed a two-year post-doctoral position in Urban Education in Baltimore City. She has written articles about language, culture, and education. In her free time, she rides bikes with her husband throughout the city of Baltimore.

More Information:

202 pages + index
ISBN: 978-1-58958-716-8 (paperback)

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