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White and Negro Alike (Kindle edition), Audrey Mike

1939-05-30 to M/M Ellsworth Blackwell on their volunteering to pioneer

May 30, 1939

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The most welcome message you had jointly addressed to our beloved Guardian dated May 9th has duly reached him, and he was inexpressibly delighted to hear that you have written the Inter-America Committee offering your services for teaching work in Central America. He hopes that the N.S.A. & the Inter-America Committee both will extend to you every support & assistance in their power in order to facilitate your journey & enable you to settle in a locality where you will have the best chance of establishing the Faith. You did well to write & ask the Committee in charge of the teaching work in the Latin American countries for their advice as to what particular state you should settle in, as their recommendation would certainly be invaluable to you in your work.

Needless to assure you that this great teaching undertaking you have chosen with such spontaneous will and such heroic determination characteristic of the Bahá’í pioneer, the invisible, yet ever present hosts of the Kingdom will ever reinforce & strengthen your labors, and lead you onward to the goal you have set yourselves to attain in service to Bahá’u’lláh in His Faith.

The Guardian’s good wishes & prayers will accompany you all through your journey, & it is his heart’s fervent hope that you may be fully confirmed & successful in your efforts.

With the warmest expression of his grateful appreciation of your devoted services in the teaching field & with his most loving greetings to you both.

Yours ever sincerely,

R. Rabbani

[At the close of this letter on behalf of the Guardian to the Blackwells, Shoghi Effendi, in his own hand, added these comments.]

Dear co-workers:

I am delighted to hear of your noble determination, and will specially pray for your success. I value and prize the spirit that animates you in His service. May the Beloved guide every step you take, resolve every problem that may confront you, cheer your hearts and fulfill your dearest wish in His service.

Your true brother,


742 East Marquette

Chicago, Illinois

May 9, 1939

Dear Shoghi Effendi,

This is to inform you that we have submitted our names to the Inter-America Committee for pioneer work in Central America. We are entirely willing to carry the great message into any one of these countries, should The National Spiritual Assembly decide to accept our applications.

We would like to give you a few facts concerning our personal history. We became declared believers in the year 1934 within a few months of each other, and were later married in the year 1937. I am a member of the Negro race, and my wife is one of the Caucasian race, while I am from the southern states and she is from the northern states.

It was the summons contained within your cablegram that “white and Negro believers alike must arise…” which has created within us the desire to respond to the Call.

We are asking, then, for your prayers on our behalf so that we may always render the utmost service to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

Faithfully yours,

Ellsworth Blackwell

Ruth Blackwell

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