Hidden New Orleans

There's more to the Crescent City than jazz and Mardi Gras. The Black Bucket List explores Louisiana's surprising black history.

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There are many more sites in New Orleans -- like Fats Domino's house in the Lower 9th Ward and jazz nightclubs where generations of great musicians have played, to more somber milestones, like the portion of the Lower 9th Ward levees that broke open in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, destroying a historic black community that is still far from recovery.

Unfortunately, the spirit of the Confederacy is also still alive in Louisiana. Just blocks away from the hotels where most tourists stay, New Orleans has a monument built to celebrate white supremacists. The city's first and second black mayors, Earnest "Dutch" Morial and Sidney Barthelemy, both tried to have the monument removed but were blocked by the City Council and by state "historic preservation" officials. One look at that monument, which commemorates a massacre carried out by members of the Crescent City White League in 1874, reminds us how important it is to learn from our history.

Jordan Flaherty, a New Orleans-based journalist, is the author of Floodlines: Community and Resistance From Katrina to the Jena Six. He can be reached at neworleans@leftturn.org.

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