Laura Strickling

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

What do the conversion stories of Black Latter-day Saint women from inner city Baltimore have to do with a White woman from rural Oregon?

This book is about the Black sisters in my congregation and how our racialized lives meet at the crossroads of faith.  They draw me into their narratives with Black vernacular, laughter and tears, and tell me about visions and miracles; of violence, addiction, and Jim Crow racism.  I learn how they reconcile belonging to a historically White church that, before 1978, had denied them access to full membership.  As these women open their hearts to me, I am compelled to confront my whiteness and begin to understand the depth of their faith- a spiritual fire- that rises from a wellspring of experience so different from my own.

On Fire in Baltimore

About the author

I grew up in southern Oregon, then went on to complete undergraduate work at Brigham Young University in Art and Music, and Spanish from Augusta State University. After living in Spain for seven years with my husband and four children, I went back to school again and received an M.A. in Intercultural Communication and a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Linguistics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. My research focused on the impact of educator’s attitudes toward students who speak African American English and I developed a model that explains the process of reframing a linguistic mindset. I also completed a two-year post-doctoral position in Urban Education where I participated in evaluating the efficacy of Turnaround interventions in low performing schools in Baltimore. Now that my husband has retired, we live in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee where I knit and spin, and play with our eight grandchildren when they come to visit. I also teach online Spanish for Brigham Young University Idaho.

“This book is a treasure. . . . If you want to be inspired, moved to tears, and hopefully moved to positive action, please read On Fire in Baltimore. It is an intense experience that can help you see others with new eyes.”

The Millennial Star

Laura's Publications for Spanish Students

Spanish Verb Categories

Soon to be released.  Includes the ever popular Preterit Circle.

Estrella y Águila en España

Soon to be released. Mininovela  for beginning Spanish learners.

Estrella y Águila en Cuba

Soon to be released.  Mininovela for intermediate Spanish learners.