Since the onset of the global health crisis, like so many people in the United States and in other countries, new and challenging circumstances at work and at home have required me to change my priorities, at least temporarily. Among other things, this has meant that I haven't had much time or energy for my blog. I've had plenty to say about current events here and abroad, but not much wherewithal to write. I sincerely hope that will start to change this fall.
On that note, I want to take a moment to note that my new book from the History Press released last year, A History of the Baha'i Faith in South Carolina, is now available for purchase from bahaibookstore.com, the online store of the Baha'i Distribution Service in the United States. It's available elsewhere online and in brick-and-mortar bookstores, but I'm happy that it now takes its place along many other great works of Baha'i scripture, history, and scholarship available from the official online store of the U.S. Baha'i community.
And while you're there, I also recommend you check out Crossing the Line: A Memoir of Race, Religion, and Change, by Richard Abercrombie with JoAnn Borovicka. This is a short, engaging work about a young African American man's coming of age in a South Carolina on the cusp of tumultuous change and his and his family's profound encounter with the Baha'i Faith. Rick is a great storyteller, and he recounts his experiences--some of them quite harrowing--with a great deal of grace and humor. Now in the interest of full disclosure I'll admit I'm a little bit biased: Rick and his family were instrumental in my own embrace of and education in the Baha'i Faith, and it was my honor to provide critical review of his manuscript before it was published. But as a historian who has spent years studying the Baha'i Faith and the civil rights movement, I promise this book is worth your time!
Rick's book now joins a number of others that have begun to bring the vital South Carolina Baha'i story to light: Annette Reynolds's Trudy and the Baha'is' Spiritual Path in South Carolina (2015); Janet Ruhe-Schoen's Champions of Oneness: Louis Gregory and His Shining Circle (2015); Lynn Markovich Bryant's "I'm Black and I'm Proud," Wished the White Girl (2003); my own A History of the Baha'i Faith in South Carolina (2019) and No Jim Crow Church: The Origins of South Carolina's Baha'i Community (2015); and of course the shoulders on which we all stand, Gayle Morrison's path-breaking To Move the World: Louis G. Gregory and the Advancement of Racial Unity in America (1982). There is much more still to tell, from South Carolina and other states, about the emergence of the American Baha'i community and its role in contemporary society. Let's hope many more works of history and memoir are on the way!