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Louisiana



  • ‘One Oppressive Economy Begets Another’

    Slavery and Jim Crow deprived Black communities in Louisiana of wealth and power, and enabled contemporary environmental racism. But slavery-era cemeteries are becoming part of efforts by those communities to fight back against polluters. 



  • Forgotten Camps, Living History: Japanese Internment in the South

    by Jason Christian

    Camp Livingston, deep in the Louisiana pines, used to be the site of a World War II Japanese internment camp. Drawing from the memories of internees, the research of two Louisiana State University librarians and other historians, and the activism of survivors and their descendants, this story uncovers a buried piece of American history.



  • Only Accountability Will Allow the U.S. to Move Forward

    by Mitch Landrieu

    Full accountability for the Capitol Riot is essential lest white supremacists and other extremists take the lesson that their actions are accepted and permitted. The white supremacist massacres of the post-Reconstruction period show that moving on without accountability is impossible. 



  • The Massacre That Emboldened White Supremacists

    by William Briggs and Jon Krakauer

    The Colfax Massacre, sparked by white supremacists' refusal to accept a state election result, set in motion a series of legal rulings that made it virtually impossible for the federal government to prosecute civil rights violations by private citizens, ensuring that mob violence and racial oppression would continue. 



  • A Slave Rebellion Rises Again

    Some 500 enslaved people revolted in Louisiana but were largely ignored by history. Two centuries later, an ambitious re-enactment brings their uprising back to life.



  • Ray Smock: Memories of Congresswoman Lindy Boggs

    Ray Smock was Historian of the U. S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995. Lindy Boggs died this past week at the age of 97. She was my mentor and my dear friend during the years I served as historian of the U.S. House of Representatives and since that time. No one influenced me more and taught me more about the ways of the House and national politics than did Lindy. She literally took me under her wing and welcomed me into her large extended family on the Hill and throughout Washington and even in New Orleans, where I visited her in her Bourbon Street home on several occasions.I had no political connections nor was I the slightest part of Washington society when I got the job as House Historian. I knew nothing of how the institution of the House worked from the inside. I knew about Congress from the news and from textbooks. Lindy opened up that world to me from the inside. She knew I needed this to complete my education if I was to be able to do my job to its fullest extent.She was chairwoman of the House Bicentenary Commission, a special committee appointed by Speaker Tip O’Neill to oversee the 200th anniversary of Congress. My job was to plan for that bicentennial and report to the committee, one of the few in Congress to have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.



  • Henry Louis Gates Jr.: What Was the Colfax Massacre?

    Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University. He is also the editor-in-chief of The Root. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.



  • La. voter registration test is mystery for historians

    A Philadelphia historian sparked a days-long — and so far fruitless — archival search when she challenged her blog readers to take an “impossible” test purportedly once given to prospective black voters in Louisiana.The test, which asks the taker to “spell backwards, forwards” among other tasks, went viral on the Internet after it posted on a noted civil rights history website. The Tennessee State Archives put a copy in its collections. Teachers are using it in their history lessons. However, history experts in Louisiana do not have a copy of it.“I suspected that was a hoax,” Andrew Salinas, reference archivist for the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, said Wednesday.A former civil rights worker who insists the test was given offered another explanation. Jeff Schwartz said Louisiana might have been reluctant to preserve an embarrassing chapter in its history....