This month, the U.S. Catholic Book Club is reading Black Domers: African-American Students at Notre Dame in Their Own Words edited by Don Wycliff and David Krashna. Black Domers tells the compelling story of racial integration at the University of Notre Dame in the post–World War II era. In a series of seventy-five essays, beginning with the first African-American to graduate from Notre Dame in 1947 to a member of the class of 2017 who also served as student body president, we can trace the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the African-American experience at Notre Dame through seven decades.
Emily Sanna, associate editor of U.S. Catholic, says, “One of Black Domers’ biggest lessons is that the university’s ongoing fight for racial equality stems out of their commitment to Catholic social teaching and the dignity of every person. It’s a lesson valuable not just for Notre Dame graduates or historians but to all Catholics.”
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, writes in the foreword, "We must remember the contributions of so many people over the past seventy years to make Notre Dame a more richly diverse and inclusive place. For this is not a matter of mere numbers; it is, in the words of the Notre Dame diversity statement, a 'moral and intellectual necessity,' an affair of the mind and the heart. As such it is a very human story. Insofar as we live it, we become more what we say Notre Dame is. We respond to a call. I thank all those who have gone before who have helped us hear this call and respond to it."
Don Wycliff, Notre Dame Class of 1969, is the former editorial page editor of the Chicago Tribune.
David Krashna, Notre Dame Class of 1971, is a retired/assigned judge of the Alameda County, California, Superior Court.
To read along with this month’s U.S. Catholic Book Club selection, you can purchase your copy of Black Domers here.
For more information, contact Kathryn Pitts at firstname.lastname@example.org, 574.631.3267.