As New Orleans approaches its tri-centennial in 2018, its residents will have much time to reflect upon the historical timeline of one of the most culturally influential American cities. The Amistad Research Center was founded in 1966 upon the notion that ethnic minorities, whose lives and contributions were often marginalized in official histories about America, deserved to have their stories told and preserved in perpetuity as well. Race and ethnicity weren’t the only identifiers used to exclude certain individuals from the historical record. A gender imbalance, where women’s achievements were often ignored, also existed in American history. In the past 60 years, scholars, historians, and academics have sought to reverse this racial, ethnic, and gender marginalization.
Amistad is a partner of NOLA4Women. The organization, made up of community partners, seeks to take action through innovative programs that celebrate women and girls, provide a forum to address the challenges they face, and promote a future where they have the opportunity to reach their full potential. It is as a NOLA4Women collaborator, and based on Amistad’s founding principle of diversifying the historical record, that we have decided to produce a blog series focusing on the contributions of women to New Orleans. Every week, ARC will feature a woman from our collections who has made contributions to the history of New Orleans, or who has expanded discourse on New Orleans cultural traditions. The series will run from January 9, 2017 until April 30, 2017 and will be authored by the Center’s staff. We hope you enjoy learning about the women history makers of New Orleans.
Image from the Ernest Morial papers. Images from Amistad’s website, newsletters, and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.