African Descendants in New Orleans: A Visual History

Photo Essay

Untitled (Cemetery Scene)

The rich, complex history of African descendants in New Orleans may be evidenced through works of public art by artists John T. Scott, Martin Payton, Sheleen Jones and others; iconic architectural structures such as the shotgun house, with its Afro-Caribbean roots; monuments and memorials to figures like the pioneering civil rights activist A.P. Tureaud; and portraits produced by early to mid-20th century photographer Arthur P. Bedou of the Seventh Ward, held at The Amistad Research Center and other local repositories. This photo essay by art historian and curator Mora J. Beauchamp-Byrd (Duke University) focuses on a selection of paintings, prints, photographs and sculptural works that document the role of African descendants in the shaping of social, cultural and political history in New Orleans.

Beauchamp-Byrd also served as the guest editor for our Community Spotlight on New Orleans, and some of the articles she edited appear in the links below.

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