Shirley Thompson, the youngest of the Thompson sisters, joined the New Orleans Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Freedom Rides as they tested the Interstate Commerce Commission’s desegregation of bus transit. At eighteen years old, and just a few…

On May 24, 1961, Jean Thompson, at age 19, participated in the Freedom Ride from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi as civil rights activists tested the Interstate Commerce Commission’s desegregation of bus transit. Jean’s bus was the first…

On November 1, 1961, Alice Marie Thompson joined other New Orleans Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) members to test the Interstate Commerce Commission’s new policy of bus desegregation at the New Orleans Trailways bus terminal located on Loyola…

Dorothy Mae Taylor, born on August 10, 1928, is known as “The First Lady of 1300 Perdido Street” due to her years of service in New Orleans City Hall, located at 1300 Perdido Street, from 1986 to 1994. (1) In 1971, Taylor became the first woman of…

Growing up in New Orleans during the 1930s and 1940s, Sybil Haydel-Morial wondered why she could not go to certain places like other people. Reflecting on her childhood in her memoir, Witness to Change, Haydel-Morial stated “why I wondered, should…

Rosa Freeman Keller used her influence to mold the world around her and change the unfair practices she saw daily due to white supremacy and segregation. Keller, born in 1911, was the daughter of a successful Louisiana Coca-Cola tycoon, A.B.…

As a teen, Doratha “Dodie” Smith-Simmons entered the Civil Rights Movement in New Orleans, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Dorothy Smith Venison. Simmons’ activism began as a means to gain access to The Golden Pheasant Social Club.…

Marie Galatas Ortiz, born in New Orleans in 1939, participated in many demonstrations, marches, boycotts, and founded Grass Roots Organization for Women (GROW), an organization once housed at 1610 Basin Street. (1) Ortiz became increasingly involved…

Aimée Potens was the mother of Louis Charles and Jean Baptiste Roudanez, the founder and publisher of L’Union, the South’s first black newspaper, and the New Orleans Tribune, America’s first black daily newspaper. She was born to an enslaved woman…

Soon after Union forces seized New Orleans from the Confederacy in 1862, calls for equality reverberated among free people of color. Hundreds assembled at frequent mass meetings and rallies at Economy Hall in the heart of Faubourg Tremé. There,…

Jean Baptiste Roudanez (1815-1895), a free man of color, served as publisher of L’Union, the South’s first black newspaper, and the New Orleans Tribune, America’s first black daily newspaper. Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, the Tribune’s founder, was…

Faubourg Tremé is home to the oldest existing cemetery in the City of New Orleans, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Dr. Louis Charles Roudanez, founder of the New Orleans Tribune, America’s first black daily newspaper, is entombed in the Roudanez family…