In Part 1 we get some background on Channel’s family growing up, how black families and black culture differ substantially from Mormon white culture, what led Channel to seek God and how that led to her joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Channel tells us the good, bad & ugly of how she was treated as a black teenage convert, when she learned of the Church’s racism, and ways that she accepted, excused, and eventually internalized it to see herself as “less” than her white counterparts.
This became most apparent in dating and marriage. While white men in the church may find her exotic and are willing to date her, Channel finds that they are unwilling to marry her as “mixing seed” would pass her “curse” [black skin] to children that could otherwise have two white parents. As Channel loses herself and what makes her unique to the cultural expectations of the Church she marries another black member of the church at the counsel of her Bishop against her better judgment.
1713: Surviving as a Black Woman in the Mormon Church – Channel Achenbach Pt. 2
Channel is back for Part 2 continuing her story from her marriage, an embarrassing disciplinary council where she is judged for her “sins” by a group entirely of white men, and dealing with the fall-out of a marriage that was ill-suited from the beginning and facing the stigma of divorce within the LDS church as a woman of color. Channel marries again, this time to a non-member of the church and has two children. Despite her husband’s encouragement to leave, Channel continues to seek acceptance and approval from her religion despite her skin color. As she becomes disillusioned over time, Channel manages to stay in because of the influence of a few good friends, especially when her second marriage dissolves, and she finds herself needing more help.
We learn more about race issues in general such as the difference between racism and white supremacy and how both show up in the Church’s doctrines, practices, and members, including being constantly talked down to and told what to do with her life and what to think even by friends over a decade younger than she.
1714: Leaving Mormonism Because of Racism – Channel Achenbach Pt. 3
We’re back for a wrap-up of Channel’s story. Starting from where Part 2 left off, Channel, Margi and John discuss racism in general in the United States, and racism experienced in Utah by Channel and her children in Utah based on their skin color, with even her lighter-skinned children getting treated better than those with darker skin.
Channel finally starts finding her own voice and speaking out about her experiences and observations in the church but with continued pushback from leaders, Channel decides to resign and starts her platform on Tiktok.
We learn where and how Channel is doing now that she’s left the Church and found her voice and is finding herself again after all this time.
Mormon Stories Thanks Our Generous Donors!
Help us continue to deliver quality content by becoming a donor today: