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 bus…

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…

Though designated for public use, Palmer Park was segregated until the 1970s. The park’s namesake, Benjamin Palmer, was a staunch defender of slavery and leading segregationist, set a tone of antagonism towards the black community early on. The…

The Greenville encampment is important for African American military history in the U.S. In 1866, Maj. Gen. Phillip Sheridan, commander of the Department of the Gulf, was authorized to organize a regiment of African American Cavalry, designated the…

After the Confederate retreat and Admiral Farragut's capture of New Orleans and the surrounding area by May 1, 1862, federal forces continued to use the fortification and even improved it significantly. Most of the work was conducted by "contraband"…

Hamilton Square was renamed Palmer Park as a “testimony to the honor of the late B. M. Palmer” through a city ordinance on July 1902. Benjamin Morgan Palmer was pastor of New Orleans First Presbyterian Church. Palmer’s 1860 Thanksgiving sermon is…

Valena Cecelia MacArthur Jones is another non-native New Orleans who left her mark on the city through her positive influence and helped to shape the lives of all of her pupils. Born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in 1872, MacArthur Jones moved to New…

Founded in 1841, St. Augustine is the oldest African-American parish in the United States. The church was founded by free people of color, who purchased additional pews for the enslaved. Civil Rights activists Homer Plessy and A.P. Tureaud,were…

Begin this tour by climbing aboard the Elysian Fields bus, just as many black students did on their first day of classes in September 1958. The bus runs from Canal Street, through the French Quarter, and all the way up Elysian Fields Avenue to the…

On May 4, 1867, Guillaume acted. What happened next is open to some debate. According to the New Orleans Times, at 11:30 a.m. Guillaume hailed a “Whites Only” car number 148 on Love Street, now known as Rampart. When the driver refused to stop,…

No doubt Guillaume had heard of Dr. R. I. Cromwell, who had forcibly been thrown from a non-star car by five or six men who kicked him and tore his clothes. Cromwell noted the inequity of the star system, writing that “every seventh car is a star…