Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tony Follow Up - Part II (The Mormon Curse Against Black People is Removed)

There was some speculation leading up to the Tony Awards about what song the cast of The Book of Mormon would perform on the network where Janet Jackson had her wardrobe malfunction in 2004. In the end, Andrew Rannells who plays Elder Price performed I Believe and I think that I only heard one bleep during the performance. 

For days after the performance, I found myself humming I am a Mormon and dang it a Mormon just believes... which is strange since I know very little about this religion besides what I've seen in Angels in America primarily. I didn't quite get all the references in the song but I sure got the gist. But the one that kept me wondering is: 
In 1978, God changed his mind about black people!
What the heck does that really mean? 

Well, it seems that Mormons considered those with black skin to be the descendants of Cain and therefore cursed. Blacks were banned from the Mormon priesthood and temples. In the 1960s and 1970s, this ignited a bit of bad press for the LDS. But on June 8, 1978, the church president - Spencer W. Kimball - ended the ban. I don't know how true this is but after spending hours in the LDS temple, God removed the curse. 

Some 30 years later, a theater-loving black girl from Brooklyn hums a catchy tune from the hottest show on Broadway -  I am a Mormon and dang it a Mormon just believes...

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