Monday, February 12, 2018

Author Spotlight - Shirley Harris Slaughter



Please join me in welcoming Shirley Harris Slaughter to my blog! Shirley's book, Our Lady of Victory: The Saga of an African American Catholic Community, was chosen to be highlighted this month as part of the Rave Reviews Book Club's 2018 Causes Calendar.



Shirley Harris-Slaughter’s first book, Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African American Catholic Community is a natural progression from her evolution as a preservationist. In 1992, she spearheaded a campaign to restore the old train station (Michigan Central Depot) in downtown Detroit. That is when she learned she had a passion for saving old buildings and preserving history. She wrote a blueprint plan, galvanized her community into action, and received lots of local publicity for her efforts. She presented her preservation plan (her thesis) to the dean of Clearly University where she earned her BBA. That plan has become a permanent record there.

“Why did Harris-Slaughter write this book?

"I felt compelled because being passionate about history, it became alarming to me that my church and school had closed and there was nothing left of its history to share with the new generation. There are so many church and school closings going on in Detroit, and I thought this is a good time to educate people to a church that was doing well before its demise. The school was just torn down in October of 2008 so it was imperative to record its history."


Harris-Slaughter’s most recent position was as a business manager at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Detroit where she believes she was inspired to write her community’s story. She retired in 2005 and took up her passion full time. Slaughter was employed for 13 years at the Detroit Free Press and has served on the Oak Park School Board. She mentored freshman girls in the Winning Futures program. She is married to Langston and continues to be active in her Oak Park community.

Here is a little bit more about the book:

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...

Today (2014) this little church is in danger of closing its physical doors forever!! Stay tuned as this story continues to unfold.


I have read the book. I'm not one to read historical books because my brain tends to block out anything related to history (lol), but I can honestly say that this book held my interest from beginning to end.  If you would like to purchase a copy, here are the links:


On sale right now at www.rememberourladyofvictory.com or visit the following online venues at Amazon.com   Createspace   Barnes & Noble.

Call 248-417-7192 for information on book signings, seminars and workshops, speaking engagements, genealogical groups, or submit an e-mail to: sharrislaughter@gmail.com


Would you like to know more about this amazing author? Read on!

*What books have you written?

Biography, History: Our Lady of Victory

*Where can readers connect with you?

Twitter: @sharrislaughter

*What do you love most about writing?

The power of the written word brings chills to my heart. Having the ability to influence the masses, and affect change gives you an incredible feeling.

*How did you decide to write Our Lady of Victory?

 There was this nagging voice that kept after me to write it until I could no longer ignore it. There were several signs but the final straw occurred when I got the opportunity to work at a Catholic Church. I think we are put in places for a reason because I was able to see records that set me on the path to take on this huge project. So never ignore that voice because that is God or your sixth sense telling you that you must do this.

*What was the most valuable thing you learned through the process? 
     That if you wait for someone else to do it, you will be waiting in vain. You are the chosen one. Once you get that idea into your head you will do it.

     *How hard is it to write about personal experiences and expose yourself to others?

     It was extremely hard. Secrets that I had kept for years finally were released in my story in Part 1 “A Personal Perspective.” I sat at my computer and cried because I was able to release it at last and it was so emotional for me. Writing my second book was even worse and I fear that I was unfair to my readers because I didn’t tell the whole story. I still have not come to terms with that and maybe I’ll re-write it someday.

    *What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

      My readers are walking away with more knowledge than they ever had about the subject – Black Catholics. I hate using the term but there is no other way to describe history that is in danger of being lost forever.

    I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about Shirley! I've read both of her books and would recommend them. Thanks for visiting today, and feel free to share this post with your friends. After all, sharing is caring! ;-)



19 comments:

  1. Hi Yvette,

    I want to thank you again for my Secret Santa prize...hosting me on your website. I need to get back to doing more promotions and this is a good start for the new year.

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    1. You are most welcome! It was my pleasure! :-)

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    2. Yvette, I would love to reblog this but I don't seem to see any way to do that. Again, thank you for hosting me.

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  2. Congrats well-deserved. Shirley! Lady of Victory was an eye-opener for those of us who did not live in the midst of such struggles. I highly recommend this book to all. Enjoy your Spotlight and keep shining, my friend. xo

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    1. I agree with you, Bette. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

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    2. Bette, I am so glad you are here. Thank you.

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  3. Hello! Great author spotlight! Congratulations, Shirley. I enjoyed the Q&A. Thanks for hosting, Yvette!

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    1. I'm glad you came by, Vashti! And thanks for sharing. :-)

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  4. Congrats on your spotlight, Shirley! I love both of your books for different reasons. I believe history is important if we are to understand how we got to where we are. I am very glad you shared that with us. Nice interview...and getting to learn new things about you Shirley. Great post, Yvette:)

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    1. Thanks D.L. I'm really glad to see you. I will be talking to you later.

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    2. I agree with you, D.L. Each of her books were great for different reasons. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

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  5. A wonderful spotlight, Yvette! Shirley, I can't wait to read the newly revised book!

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    1. The revisions were formatting, missing or misplaced photos and some small editing. The content is basically the same. I actually read it twice because I liked it. You know that normally does not happen. Thanks so much for your support and I hope you enjoy it.

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Patricia. :-)

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  6. What an awesome gift to give, Yvette! This was very interesting. Thanks for sharing more insight into Shirley's story.

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    1. Hi Jan. Sometimes I think everybody knows my story but they don't, because new people are coming in all the time. I'm glad you stopped by.

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    2. I'm happy that you enjoyed it, Jan. :-)

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