Collecting: My special focus on Louisiana’s Free People of Color.

Collecting: My special focus on Louisiana’s Free People of Color.

Louisiana Historic and Cultural Vistas

Jeremy K. Simien

It’s been said that collecting is a sickness and that a great collector will never stop collecting. I don’t know why, but I’ve always collected things. It started with fossilized rocks on the gravel playground at school, and it continued with other miscellaneous school yard obsessions, some now too embarrassing to admit. Although I will share that at the age of eleven, I was quite serious about finding rare Beanie Babies. No matter the age, I always enjoyed finding and collecting things…

…My personal desire to find and collect portraits of Free people of African descent/Creoles of color is simple. I feel that these pieces act as a crucial visual cue for a story and a message that must be told. The story of the so-called “Free People of Color” goes well beyond my personal family history and any narcissistic need for ancestral gratification. The desire to share and spread this story comes from my need to present a narrative that offers encouragement to not only people of African descent, but also other marginalized groups and persons. The narrative that I hope to present will hopefully be a message of resistance, persistence, and survival…

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