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Review: Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community


Author: Shirley Harris-Slaughter

About Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community: Do you remember 1943? It was the year Our Lady of Victory was founded in a storefront in the midst of a developing Black Community still reeling from the effects of the worst race riot in Detroit. It is a fascinating account of growing up Catholic. Did you know that it was unheard of to assign archdiocesan priests to black churches? So it was historic when in 1946 Fr. Alvin Deem, a missionary priest, was removed and replaced by an archdiocesan priest.

While Fr. Hubert Roberge was the right priest under the circumstances, it began a series of events that caused the failure of this parish to thrive.

Our Lady of Victory-the Saga of an African American Catholic Community is a compilation of memories, records, photos and interviews. The author recalls growing up in the legacy of Mother Anna Bates.

Follow the tale of the infamous wall . built to separate blacks from white residents and how it almost impeded the development of the area. It's the story of a thriving Catholic community in spite of regressive government policies; about to develop strong Catholic roots but doesn't quite make it.

This is the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community!

My review: Five stars - This interesting book looks at the history of a Catholic community in Detroit from two perspectives. One is very personal and heartfelt. The other relies on facts. From the beginning, the author sets out her stall to divide personal thoughts from accurate, historical records.As well as fondly remembering the huge role her mother played in shaping her as a human being, the author fondly recalls the Catholic teachers and religious leaders who left a lasting impression.

Set in a period when the black community faced particular challenges, this is an uplifting yet stark reminder of the struggles many have faced and overcome. Overall, it is a story of a community that sought change sooner than it was delivered.

Buy the book

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