From the arrival of the first slaves in the 1600s, equal rights and human rights were at the forefront. And so begins the tour…
Leaving from Dutch Alley (named in honor of Ernest “Dutch” Morial, first African American mayor of the City of New Orleans, and civil rights leader), we wind through the French Quarter (hearing the history of the original city), to St. Louis and Chartres streets (location of one of three slave auction sites). From there we head to Treme (oldest African American neighborhood in the nation) home to Armstrong Park (honoring Louis Armstrong, father of jazz) and location of Mahalia Jackson Theater of Performing Arts (named in honor of the internationally acclaimed gospel singer and civil rights pioneer). Along the way, your guide will share with you the people and events that shaped New Orleans’ 1960s civil rights movement. Notable leaders include Reverend Avery C. Alexander, Reverend A. L. Davis, Oretha Castle Haley, A. P. Tureaud, Don Hubbard, Lolis Elie and others. Notable events include the famous Canal Street “sit ins” that ultimately led to the desegregation of lunch counters and equal treatment in stores along the famous thoroughfare.
Tour ends at St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery (oldest New Orleans cemetery – 1789), final resting place of Ernest “Dutch” Morial, Homer Plessy (Plessy v. Ferguson of the landmark separate but equal case) and other notable residents.
It would only seem fitting that a civil rights tour be developed by Judy, a descendant of an early civil rights pioneer, George Geddes. George Geddes, who was known as the Undertaker of the South in the early 1900s and whose sons (3) went on to open prosperous undertaking businesses of their own, all the way to this day, Gertrude Geddes Willis Funeral Home, was right there with Plessy (Plessy v. Ferguson). To show that he was in good company, he was an aide to P B S Pinchback (KnowLA.org), Louisiana's only African American governor, and Oscar Dunn (KnowLA.org) stood as a witness at his wedding. Judy along with her daughter, Christy Ross, and the research mind of Jari Honora', will exhibit later this year at Le Musee' de f.p.c., a work honoring the Geddes' Legacy.
Tour Duration: 2 hours