Facing an Uncomfortable Truth: Documentary uncovers the history of African-American Catholics

Facing an Uncomfortable Truth: Exploring Kentucky's African American Catholics
Updated: Jun. 24, 2018 at 12:27 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new documentary "Facing an Uncomfortable Truth" explores the struggles of Kentucky's African American Catholics in Kentucky.

The documentary's producer Steve Crump is a Louisville native and reporter for WBTV in Charlotte, N.C., a sister station of WAVE 3 News. He is a 1975 graduate of Trinity High School and attended the former St. Peter Claver Church. Crump grew up in the Archdiocese of Louisville and is a descendant of those early African-American Catholics who helped build some of the oldest churches in Louisville.

+ News app: Apple | Android 
+ Weather app: Apple | Android 

The film dives into the history of the early Catholic Church in central Kentucky. Enslaved men and women adopted the faith of their captors, and according to the documentary, helped establish the parishes in what's now known as the Kentucky Holy Land in Nelson, Washington and Marion counties. Those slaves who were skilled masons and carpenters helped build a some of the very first places of worship for Catholics in Kentucky, as well as structures on the campus of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Nazareth, KY.

"A lot of the first Catholics who came to Kentucky, they came as property from Baltimore," Crump explained on WAVE 3 News Weekend Sunrise.

As a child growing up, I would hear these stories from my grandmother and her siblings; they were the grandchildren of slaves," Crump said. "They came out of Nelson County. So you would hear stories about places like New Hope, New Haven, Bloomfield or St Joe's Cathedral in Bardstown, Gethsemane. To hear what they said and then to be able to, years later, through some academic research, some good television storytelling, to be able to bring this thing to life some two and half years later is a blessing itself."

Facing An Uncomfortable Truth will be shown at Trinity's Communication Arts Center, 4011 Shelbyville Road, June 24 at 3 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

This program will also air on Kentucky Educational Television during July and August.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.