Do You Know What Love Can Do?

Every year at Mount Carmel, students pick an elective that will nourish their excitement to learn. Because I inspired by a former teacher, Mr. Fox, as well as the subject matter, I chose to take African-American Literature my senior year.

As we read our second supplementary book for this class, What Love Can Do became an inspiration to our class that would later develop into a project. What Love Can Do by Arthur Mitchell is an oral history from the period of slavery in the United States through the Emancipation Proclamation as documented during Mitchell’s 15-minute breaks from working at the Cabildo. Unfortunately, his original manuscript was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina; however, one copy was preserved by Gayle Nolan, who edited and prepared the manuscript for publication.

Through the efforts of our African-American Literature teacher Mrs. Richard, we were able to have Gayle Nolan herself come into our class and discuss the novel, her experiences growing up, and how she has aided the New Orleans community from her experiences.

Later, after Nolan’s visit, she was inspired by Mount Carmel’s time devoted to the rosary and reading and wrote about it on her blog:

One of the greatest joys of my life has been receiving direction from the Spirit of God — and I am grateful to the students and teachers of Mt. Carmel academy for showing me a new path to openness to the Holy Spirit. — and I am confident that the Holy Spirit will use every opportunity to speak to us when we are silent and tuned in to His Voice.”

Through our openness to receiving direction from the Spirit of God and ideas from Nolan’s activism in her personal life, What Love Can Do inspired us to not only dedicate our Design Cycle Experience project toward the novel, but also create a blog which will be used to inspire our community.

The goal of our blog is to share the oral history that Arthur Mitchell passed down to his family and raise awareness of this historical document as it pertains to the Louisiana community. From what we learned from What Love Can Do, we hope to educate our followers about the power of love exhibited in times of hardship and oppression.

You may ask yourself, “How is this relevant to my life or me as a student at Mount Carmel Academy?” To answer the question simply: it is what we are called to do. As Catholics and people with morals, we are called to spread the message of love to conquer hate.

P.S. Following the our Twitter account and direct messaging your name will give you a bonus point for your English class!

Link to the blog:

Twitter username: @WLCDProject