In response to limitations of segregation in the South, several Black Catholic institutions were created to serve the community in the town of Grand Coteau. The buildings remain to tell the story and include:
1) St. Peter Claver HS (1948)
2) Knights of Peter Claver Hall (1952)
3) The Convent for the Sisters of the Holy Family (1946)
4) Christ the King Church (1942).
The roots of these institutions reach back to 1875 when the Sisters of the Sacred Heart created the Sacred Heart Colored School to help ex-slaves transition to freedom and self-sufficiency. What followed was an elementary school, high school, community center and Catholic church to serve the black creole community. Many graduated from the schools to become teachers, nurses, lawyers, and other professions.
The church was the center of the community where people socialized and made business deals. To support the institutions, residents held church fairs and other fund raisers. After desegregation, the buildings became used for other purposes.