Re-Writing the History…

Building Bridges for a More Inclusive New Orleans

Leona Tate part of the Historic McDonogh Three, along with Tessie Prevost and Gail Etienne, who at the age of six, were the first Black students to integrate the New Orleans Public Schools an all-White school McDonough 19 located in the Lower 9th Ward. On the same day, another six-year-old African American girl named Ruby Bridges integrated a second New Orleans public school called William Frantz Elementary.

Edwin Buggage Editor-in-Chief

The Making of History
In these changing times for our City, nation, and world, it is a time that we are re-examining our history; telling stories that reflects a more diverse portrait of all who’ve contributed to where we are today.

Data News Weekly, as the “People’s Paper” during Black History Month is contributing to this conversation through a Four-Part Series that “rights” the history of New Orleans. A City that’s become central to a nation that is working to reconcile its history of racial exclusion and repression.

In our recent past New Orleans was front and center as it was one of the first American cities to begin to remove Confederate statues and monuments. Today the page is turning where a City is beginning by replacing them with more inclusive figures that’s impacted the City.

Righting the Wrongs to Reflect the Reality of a Diverse Nation
Recently, the first of these changes took place with the renaming of Jefferson Davis Parkway to Norman C. Francis Parkway. This step in “righting” the history to reflect the rich multicultural history is a step in the right direction.

In our series we will highlight many of the changes that are taking place while reflecting on the past that’s shaped it. Additionally, in these are a time of reconciliation for a nation and for this to happen there must be a re-writing of history, one that shows the contributions of Black excellence on many levels.

Today, as we turn the page on some of the darkest points in history, it is important to note that many of the people that we will spotlight are the unsung heroes that continue to do the work of bettering the City of New Orleans. That is names such as Sybil Morial, Jerome Smith, Don Hubbard, Leona Tate and many other are the shoulders that recent freedom fighter that include Angela Kinlaw and Michael “Quess” Moore stand on.

Strides Towards Freedom and Justice

From the beginning of this nation until now, Blacks have contributed to this nation that’s come a long way from a past steeped in the horrors of slavery, Jim Crow, lynching and discrimination on many fronts. But this journey and strides towards freedom and justice for all is not over.

In the 21st Century we are seeing the baton being passed to young people of the “Black Lives Matter Movement” who’ve taken the cause of African Americans on the global stage. Today it is being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Black History Matters in 2021
Today Black History Month is as important as it was when it began as a week by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926 and later became a month in 1976 as the nation was celebrating is bi-centennial.

The City and the nation have made many strides as we see Blacks in all fields of endeavor showing that Black Excellence and humanity exists on a nation that created historic barriers for Black People. This must continue and this month continues to be important to inform, educate and inspire this and future generations in Re-Writing the History and building bridges to a more diverse and unified nation.

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New Orleans Agenda The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), in partnership with Mississippi
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Lighting The Road To The Future

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