Our Lady of Victory: The Saga Of An African-American Catholic Community

Our Lady of Victory: The Saga Of An African-American Catholic Community

by Shirley Harris Slaughter


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One act set in motion a chain of events that threatened one Catholic community's ability to thrive.

It happened between 1945 and 1946 at the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Detroit in the Chancellor's office. Msgr. John C. Ryan called an emergency meeting with the cardinal...
And so the stage was set for the years of turmoil that followed and the subsequent demise of this once vibrant church. Here comes the author who gives the reader an intimate look at her church, the township she grew up in, and its historical significance to World War II, Henry Ford's auto plant, migration from the south, and the housing crisis that was unfolding.

The reader is introduced to the pioneers of this West Eight Mile Community who helped shape and establish this community that shaped her. But the book takes a different turn as the research uncovers forgotten secrets.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781499133998
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/29/2014
Pages: 284
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Shirley Harris-Slaughter is a Michigan native. She was baptized into the Catholic faith with her family as a child and attended Our Lady of Victory School. Shirley lived the history growing up in this West Eight Mile Community and is uniquely qualified to write about it. She watched helplessly as her parish lost its history and identity. Her love of history has propelled her to write about this parish, Our Lady of Victory, and correct its omission from the pages of history.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Cleary University in Howell, Michigan. She is married to Langston and lives in Oak Park.

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Our Lady of Victory: The Saga Of An African-American Catholic Community 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
FizaPathan 9 months ago
This was one of the best books I've read in 2019. The author has done a job to near perfection in telling the history of a Black-American Catholic parish. 'Our Lady of Victory' is an uplifting and interesting read. It is very inspiring; I was totally absorbed by the events of the Black-American Catholic parish of 'Our Lady of Victory' from the moment I picked the book to read. From its humble beginnings to what became of the parish that was serving its congregation so well, is a must read for any Christian, be they Roman Catholic or otherwise. Being brought up in a Roman Catholic family myself, I was overwhelmed by 'Our Lady of Victory'. The book reveals not only how a few dedicated Catholics can bring Christ to others, but also the discrimination faced by Black-Americans even where places of worship are concerned. As a history book, 'Our Lady of Victory' has outdone itself. I as a reader could see the dedication of the meticulous author Shirley Harris-Slaughter in penning the history of a Catholic parish that really meant a lot to her and the people worshipping in it. The book is an inspirational Catholic book for people in the Catholic ministry and those seeking a life in the priesthood or religious life. If you are a Christian or Roman Catholic and looking for an inspirational read, this is the book you should be reading. If you love to read about the history of Black-American communities - their struggles, hardships, dedication and victories then this is the book for you. Although I was brought up in a Roman Catholic family, I am an existentialist and yet I couldn't put the book down. It is that inspiring, interesting and captivating. I salute the people who have dedicated their lives in this book to missionary activity, administering the sacraments to its community as well as providing education to children and adults. What happens to this Catholic church at the end is a lesson for us which I've not going to divulge here in this review. Please support Shirley Harris-Slaughter and buy the book and read the story of how a few people can influence the lives of so many. I hope to read more books penned by the author. Kudos to her honesty, her impeccable penmanship, and her mission in writing this book to tell us that racism still exists, and racism has made a place of its own in our churches. Please buy the book and happy reading to all!
D.L. Finn More than 1 year ago
I love history and what we can learn from it. "Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community" by Shirley Harris Slaughter is exactly that--history we can learn from. Ms. Slaughter has written a fascinating reflection not only of the Catholic Church, but racial issues within it and the surrounding community in Detroit. Not only did the author show the Church through her own family’s history, but the book covered many well-documented backgrounds from the parishioners that attended the Church, the Priests and Nuns. Included were pictures giving the reader a full insight as to what happened in the rise and fall of this parish. Ms. Slaughter showed us a past in which we can improve upon. "Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African-American Catholic Community" fills a void in history that I was unaware was missing. For anyone who has an interest in history, religion or the African-American experience. I highly recommend this book.
writes4coffee More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic glimpse into the past. I am impressed with the way these people worked and fought so they could have a place to worship and receive a good education. (I was born in the eighties. I never really thought twice about what it meant going to church and school. I just went.) To read about the plight of not having access to these things made me think how it must have been, and I was cheering the founders of OLV on as I was reading. The author states the facts, no matter how harsh they may be, and I applaud her for that. People do not need to shy away from what was, or there will be no going forward. I was saddened to learn that OLV closed its doors. The church stands as a testament to the determination and fortitude it the founding leaders.
Rebecca_C More than 1 year ago
"Our Lady of Victory" was a well-researched and well-written account of the birth and demise of a church in an African-American community. The author offers her own recollections of the church, then delves into its history and those key people instrumental in the history of the church. Through various government and religious decisions, a church and school in a thriving community were never able to really reach their full potential, beaten down every step of the way. It's a sad state of affairs that racism plays such a prominent role in religious matters, when we should all work together.