Courage To Love

Network Premier: January 24, 2000
Courage To Love


Inspired by the life story of Henriette Delille, it depicts an era before the Civil War in New Orleans when the French outnumbered the Americans, and when free people of color enjoyed many privileges of white society. During a lavish gala called the “Quadroon Ball,” wealthy French and Spanish men couple with young women from multi-racial backgrounds. Although the inter-racial couples entered into a socially accepted courtship and raised families together, they were forbidden to marry.

Henriette Delille (Vanessa Williams) rejects this hypocrisy. With her strong faith in God and her resistance to traditional class and racial status, Henriette devotes her life to helping others, while fighting social prejudice.

Airs on Lifetime Television Monday, January 24th from 9-11 PM ET/PT.

Dove Review

Henriette became the founder of the Sisters of the Holy Family, an international order of nuns dedicated to serving the poor and elderly. In 1989, she became the first woman of African-American descent in the United States whose cause for canonization has been officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church. No matter your denominational leanings, this film exemplifies faith and a reverence for God. Ms. Williams does a credible job conveying Henriette Delille’s determinations and selfless devotion to others. Although it piles one clichéd difficulty upon another, and we see many white racists, it also shows great compassion and strength of character in decent people of different ethnicities. Once past the insipid title, I found this telefilm both educational and most enjoyable.

Content Description

It contains a few mild expletives, but no harsh or profane language; slaves are mistreated.


Company: Lifetime
Writer: Toni Ann Johnson
Director: Kari Skogland
Producer: Jean Desormeaux and Stephanie Reichel
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 120 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Vanessa Williams, Gil Bellows, Dianhann Carroll and Stacy Keach.
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright