Harriet Martineau, Saxe Weimar, and numerous other antebellum writers described New Orleans free women of color as promiscuous, seductive characters who sought partnerships with wealthy white men so they could live a life of leisure. Indeed,…

The Tio family is best known as a prominent contributor to early jazz of the 20th century, notably the addition of a “Mexican Tinge” to the genre. However, the Tios were, in fact, native New Orleanians who had lived in the city since the late…

Looking north from the library commons towards Lake Pontchartrain, you can spy the old brick smokestack near the edge of the campus. The smokestack is the only original structure remaining from the decommissioned naval air station that once stood on…

Enter the University Center at the top of the horseshoe driveway. To your left is the university cafeteria, renamed in 2014 for Louise Williams Arnolie, one of the original 55 African-American students and the first of her group to graduate from the…

Head back toward the bus stop, passing the amphitheater on your right and the administration building on your left. The administration building is a rather nondescript edifice, reflective of the role played by LSUNO's early administrators in the…

Facing the bus, turn right and walk around the back of the bus stop to explore the campus, as you learn more about the rough road to integration. The giant statue of King Lear in front of the Performing Arts Center seems to hang his head in shame…

Just after Robert E. Lee Boulevard, the bus will turn left into the Lakefront Campus of the University of New Orleans (the university was renamed in 1974), where the battle for acceptance began one September morning in 1958. Disembark and look back…

Gentilly Boulevard crosses the Elysian Fields bus route at the next traffic light after passing under Interstate-610. When the bus passed this stop on that Monday morning in 1958, it suddenly became a much lonelier place for Joseph Narcisse. “The…

Congo Square is, for many, the site that inspires the most fantastical images of enslaved life in New Orleans. From the 1840s to the 1880s, intellectuals and artists like George Washington Cable, Louis Gottschalk, and Lafcadio Hearn brought Congo…

In the fall of 1963, Ben Franklin High School became the first New Orleans public high school to integrate. Fourteen African American students, all of whom met Franklin's stringent admissions requirements, helped to break the lingering color barriers…

Palmer Park for many years was kept as a “white” space. Black residents were not permitted, and antagonism could be seen in several areas. The naming of the park after Benjamin Palmer—a staunch defender of slavery and leading…