New Orleans II: the Halloween Ghost Post

Posted in Articles, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-05-29 21:53Z by Steven

New Orleans II: the Halloween Ghost Post

The History Tourist

Susan Kalasunas

My first chance to encounter a ghost at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel in New Orleans came not long after check-in.

“Can we see the ballroom?” I asked the receptionist.

“Yes. We don’t have an event tonight, but the doors should be open. It’s right up those stairs.” That would be the grand one with the double staircase that swept up to the second floor.

The doors were unlocked but the only light in the room was from street lights peeking through large, heavily draped windows. We wandered in the dark. There’s a ghost associated with the ballroom: a woman who dances, alone, or who hides behind the curtains. I searched for the woman while Mr. History Tourist searched for the light switches. Mr. HT found the switches first and set the chandeliers alight.

This was once the Orleans Ballroom. Says the Bourbon Orleans website: “In 1817, entrepreneur John David…built the Orleans Ballroom: the oldest, most historic ballroom in New Orleans. When it opened, the ballroom became the setting for…the forever famous Quadroon Balls.”…

Read the entire article here.

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A Son of the Wealthiest Planter in the South Convicted of a Great Crime.

Posted in Articles, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-11 20:51Z by Steven

A Son of the Wealthiest Planter in the South Convicted of a Great Crime.

The Anderson Intellingencer
Anderson Court House., South Carolina
Thursday Morning, 1875-05-20 (Volume X, Number 44)
page 1, column 3
Source: Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. United States Library of Congress.

“William S. Calhoun, convicted of forgery on evidence of his quadroon mistress, Olivia Williams!”

This announcement in the Sunday papers supplies the text for a long and instructive moral discourse, and a very interesting chapter of domestic history.

The Calhoun referred to above is the only son of the late Meredith P. Calhoun, for many years before the war the largest and most lordly planter in the South. The wife of Mr. Calhoun was the daughter of Judge Smith, formerly of South Carolina, where he played a very prominent part in the politics and society of that State. Judge Smith was one of the most ancient and respected families in South Carolina, and inherited large estates, which he augmented in value by his judgment and enterprise. In the political arena he was regarded as the only formidable rival of the great John C. Calhoun. Judge Smith was the acknowledged leader of the Union party in the great secession fight of 1835. Shortly after this he removed to Huntsville, Alabama, where he bought large estates and established himself in an elegant residence, which was the home of a large and generous hospitality. The eldest daughter of Judge Smith married Meredith Calhoun, a young adventurer from the North, of polished manners and good address. Mrs. Calhoun received as her dowry a large sum, which was invested in an immense tract of the rich land on Red River, then held in great demand as the most valuable and productive in the State. This is the land which embraces the greater portion of what is now known as Grant parish. It extends ten miles on the river, and has been leveed at a vast expense, and possesses unlimited resource for the production of cotton and sugar. Upon this estate Mr. Calhoun expended a very great sum, stocking it with eleven hundred slaves, and all the expensive structures and machinery required to produce cotton and sugar. In the palmy days of this culture the yield of this large investment was highly remunerative. For several years before the war the regular income was between $250,000 and $300,000.

Having made several visits to France with his family, Mr. Calhoun acquired a taste for French society and habits, and during the latter period of his life resided in Paris. Here he expended his large income in affording his wife and daughter every opportunity of participating in the elegant and fashionable enjoyments of the gay and luxurious capital. Besides his daughter, an accomplished and elegant young lady, who was born and educated in France, so that she speaks the French language with more facility than her own, Mr. Calhoun had a son who came into this world partially deformed, but not on that account was regarded with less affection and tenderness by his parents. No child was ever more carefully and tenderly watched and cared for than the poor little hunchback, Willie Calhoun. Preferring to live on the plantation rather than expose himself in the brilliant society of Paris, Willie did not accompany his parents abroad. Devoting himself to agricultural life, he finally became a sort of head manager or agent for his father. This was the condition of the family when the war broke out. Mr. Calhoun was residing with his wife and daughter in France, and Willie had charge of the plantation. Of course the war produced most disastrous effects on the Calhoun estate. The destruction of the slave property alone was enough to swamp the whole estate. Mr. Calhoun died about the close of the war, and the widow had given her power of attorney to Willie. In 1868 she returned with her daughter to Louisiana, and proceeded on a steamboat to the landing now known as Colfax, with a view of seeing her son and investigating the condition of her affairs. Her mind had been greatly disturbed by rumors of her son’s “carryings on” from old servants and others. Among other stories which had reached her was one to the effect that he had become a practical as well as a political miscegenationist—that he had been elected by an exclusive negro vote to the Legislature, and had formed a liaison with a buxom quadroon who claimed to be his lawful wife, and who assumed all the airs and authority of the lady of the Calhoun mansion.

It may be imagined with what crushing force these terrible stories fell upon the pride of the high-born mother. Whether it was from the realization of their truth or from some other warning, Mrs. Calhoun, after a brief conversation with some of her old servants at the river landing, came to the conclusion not to expose herself to the humiliation of witnessing the son’s degradation and the profanity of the family mansion, so with her daughter she returned on the boat to the city, and procuring board for herself and daughter at the Bay of St. Louis, sojourned there for some months. Here Mrs. Calhoun died in the summer of 1868, leaving her daughter alone in the world, moneyless and almost friendless. Nothing could be got from the estate. It had been hopelessly involved by Willie.

Miss Ada had been nurtured with boundless indulgence. She had never known what it was to want anything which money could command; and here was she, totally inexperienced, an orphan thrown upon the world, from a position of long-assured wealth and high rank, with no other relative but a brother, who was now her most bitter enemy; but the young lady proved equal to her great emergencies. It would perhaps be an intrusion upon her private affairs to refer to shifts and expedients to which she was driven to regain her fortune, and to save her from the miseries of a poverty which would be tenfold bitter to one reared as she had been.

Suffice it to say that, with the aid of a zealous and persevering young lawyer, she has been placed beyond the reach of the perils so much feared by her, and we sincerely hope her fortunes are in a fair train to restoration, and that her future will realize the old dramatic climax of “virtue rewarded and vice punished.”

And surely this conviction of the bad brother for forgery would seem to fill the last condition of dramatic and poetic justice. After degrading and disgracing himself and family by a disreputable alliance, and incumbering his mother and sister’s estate by consenting to a judgment of breach of promise of marriage of $50,000, in favor of his quadroon mistress, he sought to rid himself and the estate of this incumbrance by an act which the jury had decided to be a forgery.

Truly has the psalmist declared “the ways of the transgressor are hard.” —New Orleans Times.

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Off the record: Wright State’s Natasha McPherson pulls histories of Creole women from obscure public documents

Posted in Articles, History, Louisiana, Religion, United States, Women on 2016-03-11 01:58Z by Steven

Off the record: Wright State’s Natasha McPherson pulls histories of Creole women from obscure public documents

Dialogue: Newsletter for Faculty & Staff
Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

Jim Hannah, Assistant Director of Public Relations

Natasha McPherson, an assistant professor of history, has spent 10 years documenting the previously untold history of Creole women.

With the nuns of the Sisters of the Holy Family butterflying around her, Natasha McPherson used a pencil to painstakingly scrawl hundreds of names and histories down on paper at the copy machine-less mission in New Orleans.

Many of those records would be washed away when Hurricane Katrina battered and wounded the city, leaving more than 1,800 people dead and causing $108 billion in property damage.

But McPherson’s hand-copied records have survived and are part of a manuscript the Wright State University history professor has produced in a 10-year labor of love that reveals a previously untold history of Creole women.

“Getting this manuscript published is extremely important in preserving some of the history that might have been lost,” McPherson said. “My handwritten copy is the only thing left of some of these records.”…

…For most of their history, Creole women lived in the margins of two political classes — free and slaves. In the 19th century, they had more social freedom than African-Americans and even white women. But after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 freed the slaves, Creole women found themselves more strongly associated with African-Americans and thus more socially restricted.

McPherson discovered that many Creole women were able to preserve their status and previous privilege even without political representation by marrying white or Creole men and turning that into financial opportunity.

“Creole women have very shrewd business practices,” she said. “Even if they are given just a little bit of money, they will turn it into a business. If they own their own home, they rent out rooms in their house for income.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Meet Yaba Blay

Posted in Audio, Autobiography, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-03-09 01:33Z by Steven

Meet Yaba Blay

WUNC 91.5 North Carolina Public Radio

Charlie Shelton, Digital News Producer

Frank Stasio, Host
“The State of Things”

Yaba Blay is the Dan Blue Endowed Chair in Political Science at N.C. Central University
Sabriya Simon

Growing up in New Orleans, Yaba Blay saw firsthand the different roles one navigates as an African-American. At home, she had to adjust to the Ghanaian culture of her parents, but outside the house, her dark skin set her apart from New Orleans’ light-skinned Creole community.

As Blay grew older, she began to explore how the ways in which she presented herself as a black woman defined her sense of self. Her work as a scholar, producer and publisher includes projects analyzing skin color in the U.S. and Ghana and hair care in black communities.

She is the author of the book “(1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race” (BLACKprint Press/2013), and she served as consulting producer for the CNN television documentary “Who Is Black in America?” She now serves as the Dan Blue endowed chair in political science at N.C. Central University in Durham.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Blay about growing up in New Orleans and her multimedia work.

Listen to the interview (00:48:10) here. Download the interview here.

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The Louisiana Convention.

Posted in Articles, Louisiana, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-02-28 18:13Z by Steven

The Louisiana Convention.

The Spirit of Democracy
Woodsfield, Ohio
page 2, column 3

The Convention for the reconstruction of Louisiana, now in session at New Orleans, is one of the smallest affairs in the way of brains ever before assembled in the United States. It is composed of cooks, boot-blacks, field-hands, bureau officers, and men unknown five miles from their place of residence. It is with weapons of this sort that the Radical Revolutionists are ruling the South, and trampling the rights of White men under their feet. Here is a list of the  members, taken from the N. Y. World:

  • W. Jasper Blackburn, white, is a Northern man who edits the Homer Iliad, a little Radical paper of intense bitterness published in Claiborne parish.
  • O. C. Bladin is a New Orleans mulatto.
  • Hyacinthe Bonseigneur is the same and chairman of a standing committee that on “conteengeent expanses.”
  • Emile Bonnefoi is a mulatto.
  • Wm. Brown is an unknown white
  • Dennis Burrel is a negro.
  • Wm. Butler is a negro.
  • Wm. H. Cooley is a white man; a District Judge in Point Coupee and chairman of the standing committee on the new constitution. He is not so Radicals he was and swears freely.
  • W. R.  Crane is a truly loyal man whose name appears subscribed to this oath: “I do solemnly swear that I am qualified according to the Constitution, and the laws of the State to vote. I will be faithful and true allegiance bear to the State of Louisiana and the Confederate States of America, and that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the State and of the said Confederate States. So help me God. March 20, 1862.”Some years prior to this the reconstructing Crane offered a resolution in the Louisiana Legislature to unseat J. P. Benjamin then United States Senator; because the said Judah was in favor of Mr. Clay’s compromise measure, instead of being as Soule, Quitman and the reconstructing Crane then were for instantaneous secession. After Butler the beast came to this city, Mr. Crane became curator of the estates of persons sent beyond the line, and of registered enemies. In personal appearance he is adust as to the face, orange-tawny as to the beard, and stringy as to the neck, around which, without any intervention of a collar is twisted a wispy black cravat.
  • Thos. S. Crawford is a melancholy unknown young white man in blue steel specs.
  • R. J. Cromwell is a negro doctor.
  • Samuel E. Curey is a very black negro.
  • Geo. W. Dearing, Jr, is a mulatto.
  • A. J. Demarestis white, unknown.
  • Chas. Depasseau, is a mulatto.
  • P. G. Deslonde, mulatto.
  • Jos. DeBlonde, mulatto.
  • Auguste Donator Jr., mulatto.
  • Davis Douglas, mulatto.
  • J. G. Drimkard, white, unknown.
  • Gustavus Duparte, mulatto.
  • Ulger Dupart, mulatto.
  • C. H. B. Duplessis, white, unknown.
  • J. B. Esnard, mulatto.
  • G. W. Furgeson, white, unknown.
  • John Gair, mulatto.
  • R. G. Gardiner, a very black negro, temporary president of the Convention.
  • Abraham N. Gould, negro.
  • Leopold Guichard, mulatto.
  • Peter Harper, Jno. S. Harris, Thos. P. Harrison, O. H. Hempstead, and W. .H. Hiestaud, all white and entirely unknown.
  • J. H. Ingraham, mulatto, a cook in the Washington artillery during the war, and now Chairman of the Committee on Bill of Rights.
  • R. H. Isabelle, mulatto.
  • Thos. Isabelle, mulatto.
  • Simon Jones, white.
  • Geo. Y. Kelso, mulatto.
  • Jas. H. Landers, white, wears a brimstone colored vest an is Solon Shinge to a hair. Otherwise unknown.
  • Victor Lange, mulatto.
  • Chas Leroy, mulatto.
  • J. B. Lewis, Viite.
  • Richard Lewis, black.
  • Jno. J. Ludwig, white, a German—Has good sense, but speaks English fewly.
  • Jno. Lynch, white. “Give ye me wor’rd of honor he has” said he the other day, sotto voce, in debate. And of such is delegate Lynch.
  • Frederic Mane, white.
  • Thomas M. Martin, mulatto.
  • J. A. Massicot, white.
  • Win. R. Meadows, white.
  • Ben. McLeran, white.
  • W. L. McMillan, white of Ohio, ex-U. S. A.
  • Milton Morris, a very black negro.
  • S. R. Moses, still blacker.
  • Wm. Munell, mulatto.
  • Jas. Mushaway, white.
  • Theophile Myers, mulatto.
  • J. P. Newsham, white, ex-U. S.
  • Jos. C. Oliver, mulatto.
  • S. B. Packard, white.
  • Jno. Pierce, mulatto.
  • P. B. S. Pinchback, mulatto. Great friend of. Banks, N. P.
  • Curtis Pollard, negro, black as jet.
  • Geo. W. Reagan, white, ex-U. S. A.
  • D. Reese, white.
  • Fortune Riard, mulatto.
  • D. D. Riggs, white.
  • J. A. N. Roberts, mulatto.
  • L. Rodriquez, mulatto.
  • N. Schawb, white, German.
  • Charles Smith, white, Internal Revenue assessor.
  • Sosthene Snacr, mulatto.
  • Jno. Scott, negro.
  • G. Snider, white.
  • H. G. Steele, white.
  • Chas. Thibaut, white.
  • E. Twichant, mulatto.
  • M. H. Twichell, white, ex-U. S. A.
  • Napoleon Underwood, white.
  • P. F. Valfroit, negro.
  • Jno. B. Vandergriff, white.
  • Michel Vidal, white.
  • Rufus Naples, white.
  • G. M. Wickliffe, white, is a truly loyal man. In 1860, he edited a paper at Clinton, in this State called The Spirit of the South, full of death to abolitionists, hang the abolitionist devils, whet the knife, prepare the fuel, etc., etc., in the very worst style of the fire-eating school. As before observed he is a truly loyal man. He looks, big black mustache “hilang!” air and all as though he had just dropped down out of the Bowery and with two negroes Williams and Wilson, closes the roll of this Convention.

Were the people of the South true to their own interests they would rise in the name of the Constitution of the United States, and wipe the vampire band of howling, blood-thirsty Niggers and unknowns, who are now engaged in eating out their substance and outlawing them, from existence.

Here is a specimen of the blood-thirsty speeches daily thrown into the faces of disfranchised white men:

New Orleans, December 7.—In the Convention to-day, while discussing the preamble and resolutions denying the statements contained in the memorial to congress expressing a fear of a war of races, a negro named Cromwell declared: “We will rule; until the last one of us goes down forever.” That negroes were going to have their rights, if it was by revolution and blood, in spite of Andy Johnson or any other man, and declared that he was ready for revolution.

From the above the people can very readily see what, the negro doctrines of Sumner and Wilson have brought the country too.

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On ‘Jackson Five Nostrils,’ Creole vs. ‘Negro’ and Beefing Over Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-12 19:22Z by Steven

On ‘Jackson Five Nostrils,’ Creole vs. ‘Negro’ and Beefing Over Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’


Yaba Blay, Dan Blue Endowed Chair & Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina

As you know, the video for Beyoncé Knowles’ “Formation” does the most, from invoking police violence, to flashing back to Hurricane Katrina, to celebrating Blue Ivy’s adorable afro. Here, Yaba Blay, a dark-skinned, New Orleans-bred scholar who researches skin color and identity politics, gets into a topic we’ve been avoiding: the message Beyoncé is sending about complexion and worth.

I was born and raised in New Awlins and never miss the opportunity to remind folks of that. So when Beyoncé’s video for “Formation” dropped on Saturday, I, like the majority of my homegirls, was hype.

I wasn’t excited because I’m a certified Beyoncé stan, because the video is visually stunning, or because this seemed to be the Blackest iteration of Beyoncé yet. I was hype because she seemed to be reppin’ New Awlins hard, and not in a tepid “I heart N.O.” kind of way, but more in line with our playfully defiant brand of Blackness. That she unleashed the video during Mardi Gras weekend? It just couldn’t get any better!

Until it got worse…

…I cheer Bey on as she sings, “I like my Negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.” But I cringe when I hear her chant, “You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bamma about her Alabama-born dad and her mom from Louisiana. This is the same reason I cringed at the L’Oreal ad that identified Beyonce as African-American, Native American and French and why I don’t appreciate her largely unknown song “Creole.”

Having grown up black-Black (read: dark-skinned) in colorstruck New Awlins, hearing someone, particularly a woman, make a distinction between Creole and “Negro” is deeply triggering. This isn’t just for me but for many New Orleanians.

For generations, Creoles—people descended from a cultural/racial mixture of African, French, Spanish and/or Native American people—have distinguished themselves racially from “regular Negroes.” In New Orleans, phenotype—namely “pretty color and good hair”—translates to (relative) power…

Read the entire article here.

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Viewing Los Angeles Through a Creole Lens

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-21 21:20Z by Steven

Viewing Los Angeles Through a Creole Lens

The New York Times

Farai Chideya

The pulse of the train on the tracks sets a rhythm as its passenger cars seem to skim over Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. These six miles of nothing but sky above and water below are the gateway into the city by rail. Next come the cemeteries at the edge of New Orleans, and all of a sudden, a day and a half of travel ends at the Amtrak terminal in the business district. I had just completed the first leg of my cross-country journey by sleeper train, starting in New York, and was beginning the second: a foray into the cultural ties between the Crescent City and California.

This trip had been inspired partly by the travel writer and blogger Greg Gross, who grew up in New Orleans and California. “I had a great-uncle who ran away at 15 to become a Pullman porter,” he said. These black men served a predominately white customer base as sleeping-car porters, often simply called “George” by their customers. Their union became a powerful force during the civil rights movement. Mr. Gross’s great-uncle Ellis Pearson worked on the Sunset Limited train from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

He was something like an usher for Mr. Gross’s family, which is full of cross-country transplants, including his parents and a deceased uncle who played jazz trumpet. When black New Orleans families like his moved to California, “They brought their food with them, their music,” he said. “They brought an energy, an attitude with them. ‘We survived there; we can make it here.’ They brought it to their churches and their neighbors.” It’s a refrain I hear many times as I speak to members of this diaspora.

The Grosses weren’t the only ones. The migration of black and Creole families moving to California from Louisiana began as a trickle in 1927, in the wake of that year’s great flood, and grew to a mass migration from the 1930s to 1960, years that encompassed the Depression, World War II and the growth of employment opportunities for blacks, and Jim Crow. While many families went from the South to the North, the train lines led many in New Orleans to the West instead. The better part of a century after its start, some migrants resettled in California after Hurricane Katrina. I wanted to follow the path that others had, to trace a thread of our cultural lineage, however faint. I wanted to see both cities through a black Bayou and Creole lens, to see if they’d drifted apart or were overlapping, remixing culture in the same way that Creoles originally had…

…Once in Los Angeles, I headed to the venerable Creole restaurant Harold and Belle’s on Jefferson Boulevard to meet up with Roger Guenveur Smith, an actor, writer and producer, and the actor and musician Mark Broyard. The dining room — scheduled to reopen next month after a renovation — was filled with locals wearing fleur-de-lis T-shirts or other symbols of their fealty to Louisiana. Mr. Broyard and Mr. Smith have known each other since childhood, and collaborated on a play called “Inside the Creole Mafia,” staged several times over the course of two decades. I got a taste of their razor-sharp banter over my gumbo.

Mr. Broyard explained how his family left Louisiana during the Jim Crow years because, “as my mother said many times,” he said, “she was not going to fight the civil rights movement with her children. We, the Creole kids, the light-skinned kids, we had been integrating schools for a lot longer because we weren’t dark. So we had been in and out of all these white institutions for years, with a tacit understanding that these people were colored, but it was O.K. that they were here because maybe they had half of one drop or something.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Color Lines: Racial Passing in America

Posted in Arts, Audio, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-01-17 03:03Z by Steven

Color Lines: Racial Passing in America

BackStory with the American History Guys (A program of the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities)
Charlottesville, Virginia

M. H. Kimball portrait of Isaac White and Rosina Downs, two New Orleans slave children, c. 1863. (Library of Congress).

On this episode of BackStory, the Guys will consider how and why Americans throughout the centuries have crossed the lines of racial identity, and find out what the history of passing has to say about race, identity, and privilege in America. We’ll look at stories of African-Americans who passed as white to escape slavery or Jim Crow and find out how the “one-drop rule” enabled one blonde-haired, blue-eyed American to live a double life without ever arousing suspicion. We’ll also explore the story of an African-American musician who pioneered a genre of exotic music with a bejeweled turban and an invented biography, and examine the hidden costs of crossing over.

Guests Include:


  • The Spark of Recognition
    • Historian Carol Wilson tells the story of a New Orleans slave named Sally Miller, who sued for her freedom after a German woman became convinced that Sally was really a long-lost German girl named Salomé Müller.
  • Double Image
    • Historian Martha Sandweiss explains how the one-drop rule enabled a blue-eyed, blonde-haired geologist named Clarence King to lead a second life as a Black Pullman porter, without ever drawing suspicion.
  • “Code-Switching”
    • Listener Johanna Lanner-Cusin, who identifies as black, talks about people’s assumptions about her race, not having experiences similar to darker African Americans, and “qualifying her blackness.”
  • Blood Brothers
    • Historian Annette Gordon-Reed illustrates the fluidity of race with the stories of two sons of Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings, one of whom passed into white society while the other lived his life as an African-American.
  • High Stakes
    • Sociologist Eva Garroutte tells the story of Sylvester Long, a multiracial man who rose to silent film stardom in the 1920s after adopting the persona of an “authentic” Native American—until it all came crashing down.
  • Passing In, Passing Out
    • Brian Balogh talks with historian Allyson Hobbs about an enormous but overlooked cost of racial passing: leaving one’s family, community, and heritage behind.
  • “Guess Your Ethnicity”
    • Listener Vasanth Subramanian wishes society allowed him to choose his identity. He talks in detail about the prejudices children of immigrants face.
  • Drawing the Line
    • The Guys explain how American slavery practices created racial boundaries, and, at the same time, complicated them.
  • Playing Indian
    • Producer Nina Earnest explores the boundary between passing and performance with the story of John Roland Redd, an African-American organist who donned a bejeweled turban and rewrote his life story to become “Godfather of Exotica” Korla Pandit.

CORRECTION: This show includes a story about Sylvester Long, a man of mixed descent who styled himself as a pure-blooded Native American named Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance. We refer to him as a movie star who published a famous autobiography. In fact, Long Lance published his autobiography first—the popularity of the book catapulted him into movie stardom.

Listen to the podcast (01:05:14) here. Download the podcast here.

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The Story of French New Orleans: History of a Creole City

Posted in Books, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2016-01-08 02:24Z by Steven

The Story of French New Orleans: History of a Creole City

University Press of Mississippi
January 2016
208 pages (approx.)
1 map, bibliography, index
6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496804860

Dianne Guenin-Lelle, Professor of French
Albion College, Albion, Michigan

Why New Orleans is considered America’s distinctly French city

What is it about the city of New Orleans History, location, and culture, continue to link it to France while distancing it culturally and symbolically from the United States. This book explores the traces of French language, history, and artistic expression that have been present there over the last three hundred years. This volume focuses on the French, Spanish, and American colonial periods to understand the imprint that French socio-cultural dynamic left on the Crescent City.

The migration of Acadians to New Orleans at the time the city became a Spanish dominion and the arrival of Haitian refugees when the city became an American territory oddly reinforced its Francophone identity. However, in the process of establishing itself as an urban space in the antebellum south, the culture of New Orleans became a liability for New Orleans elite after the Louisiana Purchase.

New Orleans and the Caribbean share numerous historical, cultural, and linguistic connections. The book analyzes these connections and the shared process of creolization occurring in New Orleans and throughout the Caribbean Basin. It suggests “French” New Orleans might be understood as a trope for unscripted “original” Creole social and cultural elements. Since being Creole came to connote African descent, the study suggests that an association with France in the minds of whites allowed for a less racially-bound and contested social order within the United States.

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Plessy v. Ferguson Re-Argument

Posted in Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-12-30 22:41Z by Steven

Plessy v. Ferguson Re-Argument

C-SPAN: Created by Cable
Program ID: 71350-1

Hosted by Harvard University

Distinguished jurists heard a re-argument of Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 Supreme Court case in which the Court found that Louisiana did not discriminate against Homer A. Plessy when it refused to let him sit in the white only section of a passenger train. In this decision, the Court established the legal doctrine of “separate, but equal,” which governed discrimination cases until the 1954 decision of Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The participants had access only to the facts and case law available in 1896 for their arguments. Following the arguments, the “Court” deliberated in public and unanimously reversed its original 6-1 decision.

Watch the video (02:31:49) here.

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