This is a just a quick stop to point out the number of street and neighborhood names that correspond to past locations of plantations. Some refer to the names of colonial settlers who stole the land; others honor later residents who stole labor to work the land. This street is named after Louis Allard, a slaveowner, local politician, and terrible poet who lost his plantation after failing to pay taxes.
Other places in town that have names related to their past slaveowning occupants include Milne Boulevard/Milneburg, Lepage Street, Doargenois Street, Aurora Boulevard/Old Aurora, Clark Street, Montegut Street, Clouet Street, the Marigny/Marigny Street, Dreux Avenue, Chalmette, Delachaise Street, the Tremé/Tremé Street, and Gravier Street. (This is far from a complete list; if you can think of any more examples please drop them in the comments.)
Changed by a unanimous City Council vote in August of 2020. The official renaming of this street will happen January of 2021.
New Orleans renamed many of its schools in the 1990s to replace the names of various Confederate generals and white supremacists, and currently has only a few schools whose names are explicitly tied to white supremacy, including Lusher and two schools named for John McDonogh. However, across the state and country there are still hundreds of schools with names that glorify the confederacy or individuals with avowedly bigoted views.
This soldier/philosopher/scholar was a Confederate general whose intellectual pursuits were limited to rationalizing white supremacy. In 1868, he declared, “The white race, and that race alone, shall govern this country. It is the only one that is fit to govern, and it is the only one that shall.” Pike was an early supporter of the Know-Nothing Party, an anti-immigrant secret society which later became a national political party. He flounced and resigned at their party convention when they were not pro-slavery enough for his liking. He later allegedly became a founding member of another secret society more in line with his beliefs — the Ku Klux Klan. This monument was built in 1957, during a reactionary flurry of Confederate monuments that followed 1954’s landmark civil rights decision Brown v. Board of Education.
This memorial to ‘The Poet-Priest of the Confederacy’ was erected in 1949 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The objective of the UDC is to prepare future generations of white Southerners to defend the principles of the Confederacy. Their work is not limited to constructing monuments: they’ve also rejected any school textbook that said slavery was the central cause of the Civil War; praised the Ku Klux Klan; and gave speeches that distorted the cruelty of American slavery and defended slave owners. They are still an active organization, and built their most recent monument to the Confederacy in 2011.
While you enjoy your ride on the Greenway, please take a moment to contemplate the fact that Jean Lafitte was a prolific slave trader. Following a ban on the importation of enslaved people in 1805, much of the contraband Lafitte pirated was human. His territory in Barataria Bay was a conduit by which enslaved people were smuggled into Louisiana, via a market where they were bought and sold for a dollar a pound.
Stop F: Check out the posturing on this decorative lamppost!
Some of the lampposts that line Rampart Street and Canal Street are decorated with the seal of the Confederate States of America, with a caption that overstates the “Confederate Domination” of New Orleans. (Union forces captured New Orleans just over a year into the Civil War; making most of that 1861-1865 period “Confederate Submission.”) Both the seal and caption can be found on one of the streetlights on the downtown side of the intersection, in the neutral ground at Rampart and Dumaine. Other lampposts on Rampart and Canal streets have artwork and captions commemorating the French, Spanish, and American “domination” of Louisiana.
Former state Supreme Court Justice, Senator from Louisiana, and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. This Louisiana native joined the Confederate Army twice (his first stint was in a non-combat role, however the second time around he joined a guerilla unit). After the war, he was a member of the Crescent City White League paramilitary units that twice attacked Republican state governments in an attempt to restore white supremacist Democratic party rule by violent coup. He served as an advisor and campaign manager to Governor Francis Nicholls, who ended the civil rights progresses of Reconstruction and returned Louisiana to “home rule” (a/k/a white rule). White was elected to the U.S. Senate with a campaign that “urged the vital necessity of the maintenance of white supremacy.” While on the Supreme Court, he joined the majority in decisions that upheld and entrenched segregation. The building behind this statue houses one of White’s former workplaces- our state Supreme Court.
Ernest Kruttschnitt was the driving force behind Louisiana’s efforts to deny African-Americans the right to vote during Reconstruction. He crafted the revisions to our state constitution in 1898 that allowed for non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal trials, so that largely white juries could overrule objections from black jurors. While voters repealed his non-unanimous jury provision in 2018, this did not undo all of Kruttschnitt’s destructive handiwork. Incarcerated people continue to challenge their convictions based on non-unanimous jury verdicts; the fight to resolve this will continue in our courts for years to come. In addition to this park being named in his honor, Kruttschitt’s portrait still hangs outside of the Louisiana Supreme Court.
The Promise of Justice Initiative is seeking justice for the over 1,500 Louisianans who are still in prison due to non-unanimous jury convictions in state criminal trials. Learn more about this work through the short video below.
An early historian of Louisiana, Charles Gayarré was a lifelong believer in the inferiority of African-Americans. This conviction is baked into both his histories and his mirthless satirical fiction. “It is another law of nature that distinct races, particularly like the black and white which cannot commingle and fuse into a heterogeneous compound, shall not exist together on a footing of equality…the Caucasian race will annihilate the African.” – Gayarré in his novel Fernando de Lemos, 1872
A professor of languages at Tulane, Fortier also chronicled folklore and Louisiana life from a viewpoint firmly planted on the wrong side of history. His contempt for people of color is blatant, with descriptors like “childlike,” “naive,” and “idle and ignorant” found throughout his non-fiction. While documenting African American folktales, he used their rich traditions to reinforce white supremacist perceptions of enslaved people as lazy and superstitious. Throughout his work he also perpetuated the post-Civil War fantasy that African Americans were forgiving of slavery and eager to be dominated by benevolent whites. His four-volume history of Louisiana contains some truly grotesque factual contortions to support this myth: a choice example is Fortier’s claim that the Ku Klux Klan was founded “for the purpose of playing practical jokes on [African-Americans]*.” Fortier also has a street in New Orleans East, a school campus Uptown, and a building on Tulane’s campus named after him. *not the word he used
While you are riding, bring masks and hand sanitizer, respect physical distancing, and make sure that you have an emergency contact who knows where you are and can pick you up if needed. We also have some more in-depth tips for safe biking in the pandemic, check them out! Please be aware that NOLA to Angola cannot provide logistical or emergency support to individual riders this year. Take care, and safe riding!