Anyone who knows me will tell you that if you stand within arm’s length of me for more than 5 minutes I will strike up a conversation with you. This is how I met a most recent addition to my inner circle of wonderful friends – Kaye Crawford. It was at the 7th Annual Austin African-American Book Festival in Austin, Texas last June 2013 where I met Kaye. We were both volunteering at the book festival and shared a post as ushers for the attendees. During the course of that event we discovered that we shared a common interest – history. Kaye and I kept in touch via email, texts, and the occasional coffee/lunch when she was in Houston or I was in Austin during the past year. It was sharing those times together when I discovered Kaye’s expertise in history and she informed me of her brilliant endeavor to “inform” others about the contributions of Black Catholics in the Catholic Church.
Kaye is definitely a woman making a mark on history and I am proud to know her and to have her share with us about her endeavors in that arena on my blog. Here are my questions to her and her responses:
Please tell us about your curriculum platform.
My curriculum enrichment program teaches the history of inspirational Black Catholics from the early centuries of the Church to present day events, namely the history and canonization processes of the four African-American candidates for sainthood (Mother Mary Lange, Mother Henriette Delille, Fr. Augustus Tolton and Pierre Toussaint). The program also focuses on Our Lady of Kibeho, the Vatican approved apparition of the Blessed Mother in Rwanda. BlackCatholicHistory.com can be utilized in Social Studies, Religion and English/Language Arts classes. The material is accessed through the website (http://www.blackcatholichistory.com)
What audience are you trying to reach?
Catholic school students in grades PK – 8 and their families. It is currently being used in schools in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the Diocese of Fort Worth. It has been endorsed by the Archdiocese of New Orleans; I am hoping to have the program in New Orleans schools soon. There is interest in Austin, Texas and Baltimore, Maryland.
What do you want to convey to them through your curriculum?
I want them to know these beautiful examples of faith and courage. I also want my program to be a celebration of the universality of the Catholic Church. For all of the students who use my program, it is education; for some of my students it is empowerment; for some it is enlightenment.
What was the driving force to start your curriculum platform?
With my degrees in History and in African and African-American Studies, this is material I have researched and studied for many years. I was sharing it with my three children because this information is neglected in most standard curriculums. While there are books for adults on this history, there is very little for children. I felt the Lord was calling me to create this curriculum supplement and He has made my successes possible.
If anyone wishes to reach me for questions, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know that Kaye’s initial targeted audience are Catholic schools but I have encouraged her to plan to expand her curriculum to non-Catholic schools as I believe the information she presents in her curriculum would be of interest to all who truly love and embrace history. Here are some pictures that Kaye has sent to share in the blog post. The first one is a link to a PDF file of a beautiful watercolor painted by Kaye’s husband of the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Kibeho, as she appeared to three girls in Rwanda and the second is a picture of Kaye and her work being blessed by her priests.