Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: C(hristopher) J(ohn) Koch Biography - C.J. Koch comments: to Sir (Alfred Charles) Bernard Lovell (1913– ) Biography » Kathleen D(orothy) Lindsey (1949-) Biography - Career, Sidelights - Personal, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress

Kathleen D(orothy) Lindsey (1949-) - Sidelights

sweet potato pie family

Through her many contributions to the understanding of African American history, Kathleen D. Lindsey has come to be known as "Miss Kat." Lindsey and her sisters created a stage performance called Seven Quilts for Seven Sisters that uses their own quilts, music, and drama to show how African Americans have communicated through this art form from the earliest days of slavery to the present era. Their show has been featured on the Public Broadcasting System and other television programs, and they present it live as well. Lindsey was led to this creative endeavor after the death of her son Darrell, who was the victim of a drunken driver in 1988.

Quilting plays a large part in all of Lindsey's work. She teaches the craft to adults and children and has done extensive research on the role quilts played as secret maps for the Underground Railroad. She even features a self-created quilt in her children's book, Sweet Potato Pie.

Set around the turn of the twentieth century, Sweet Potato Pie tells the story of a family that turns a potential tragedy into a triumph. Drought kills all of Papa's crops except the sweet potatoes. Faced with the possibility of losing the family farm, Papa and Mama decide to bake sweet potato pies and sell them at a harvest celebration. The whole family pitches in to make the pies, and the tasty confections prove to be a best-seller at the fair. This gives Mama the idea to begin a business baking pies.

Lindsey has said that Sweet Potato Pie is based on her own experiences selling homemade pies at a festival in Southern New Jersey when she was young. Her work has a higher goal, however. She told SATA: "My stories convey a message that families who work together have greater knowledge of love and sound family values."

Lindsey is also the author of a play, "A Stitch in Time," that won a New Jersey General Assembly Award. The play depicts life for African Americans in the Civil War era and its immediate aftermath. A lifetime resident of New Jersey, Lindsey lives in the same town in which she was born.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 15, 2003, Terry Glover, review of Sweet Potato Pie, p. 247.

School Library Journal, December, 2003, Susan M. Moore, review of Sweet Potato Pie, p. 118.


Kat Lindsey Home Page, http://www.katlindsey.com/ (June 2, 2004).

Lee & Low Books, http://www.leeandlow.com/booktalk/katlindsey.html/ (June 2, 2004), "Book Talk with Kathleen D. Lindsey."

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