Book Review: Lights of the Spirit

March 25, 2020
Book Review: Lights of the Spirit


Pamela Solon, Manager of the Bookshop at the Baha’i House of Worship, reviews the book, “Lights of the Spirit: Historical Portraits of Black Baha’is in North America, 1898-2000”, edited by Gwendolyn Etter-Lewis and Richard Thomas:

The Baha’i Faith, from its inception, championed justice for all. Countless numbers of Baha’is, in North America, both black and white, actively worked for racial equality and were in the forefront in demonstrating the oneness of humankind by cultivating friendships across racial lines at a time when most people were still very provincial.

The book, “Lights of the Spirit” highlights the blessed souls in the black community who grasped the concept of oneness earlier than most and worked tirelessly to help humanity acquire the knowledge and understanding of the desirability and necessity of unity and to achieve the goal of oneness.

Read about the accomplished people who helped this country (and other countries) progress regarding true brotherhood, for example, Louis Gregory, Elsie Austin, Gwili Posey, Dizzy Gillespie, Coralie Franklin Cook, Sadie Rebecca Johnson Ellis, Zylpha Johnson Mapp, and Alexander Mapp.

I had the good fortune and wonderful bounty of meeting Elsie Austin, Gwili Posey, and Dizzy Gillespie.  Gillespie was a well-known jazz musician who created Bebop and Austin was an attorney who lived in the United States and Morocco. Posey worked at the Baha’i National Center facilitating the relocation of numerous individuals to a variety of countries in order to assist residents of those countries to discover the reality of the oneness of humankind. I encourage you to delve into the delightful histories of these courageous individuals who dared to promulgate the idea of the equality of all of God’s children.

Available in softcover at $17.00 and available as an e-book at $2.99 through the Baha’i Publishing Trust at or via telephone at 1.800.999.9019.

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