Justice Can't Wait

Oppression and Resistance: Slavery to Mass Incarceration in Louisiana

By Amistad Research Center

A collaboration between Amistad Research Center and the ACLU of Louisiana

Sugar cane plantation in Louisiana (c. 1875) by J. Wells ChampneyAmistad Research Center

Slavery in Louisiana

The first two ships carrying captive Africans arrived in Louisiana in 1719. The majority of enslaved Africans brought to the state came from the Senegambia region, and by 1795 the population of enslaved Africans in Louisiana numbered close to 20,000. Following the outlawing of the Atlantic slave trade in 1807, Louisiana relied on the domestic slave trade and New Orleans became the largest slave market in the nation. At the start of the Civil War in 1860, the number of enslaved individuals in Louisiana stood at 331,726.

Slave Bill of Sale from Iberville Parish, Louisiana (1860-04-03) by State of LouisianaAmistad Research Center

Under Louisiana law, enslaved individuals were considered property and all sales were to be recorded in order to be legal. This document concerns the sale of two men named Thomas Thompson and Lewis Hillen, valued at $1750 each, and two women named Maria and Robena, valued at $1550. This sale took place between Walter L. Campbell, likely from New Orleans, and John H. Randolph of Bayou Goula in Iberville Parish, Louisiana.

Slave shackles (c. 1750 - c. 1800) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

Slave shackles were used as early as the 15th century to bind an enslaved person’s wrists, ankles, or neck. The shackles displayed here are typical of the kind used in the Middle Passage route from Africa to the Americas during the 18th century. They were likely used to secure the ankles of adjacent individuals while on board a slave ship. Such devices not only allowed a slave owner to physically control those enslaved, but also provided an aspect of psychological control.

Illustration of 1811 German Coast Uprising (c. 1888) by L.J. BridgmanAmistad Research Center

Resistance to slavery by those under its burden took many forms, from the breaking of tools and working slowly to open rebellion. It is estimated that over 250 uprisings by enslaved individuals took place in the antebellum South. The largest occurred in Louisiana in January 1811. An estimated 200-500 individuals armed themselves and took part in a march from present-day LaPlace toward New Orleans. This event was commemorated during a reenactment in 2019.

Contrabands in swamp by unknownAmistad Research Center

The act of running away was a common form of resistance to slavery. Individuals, families, and sometimes larger groups would flee the plantations were they lived. In Louisiana, societies of runaways, or maroons, formed in the outlying swamps and forests, which provided some cover. At times, these communities grew to be autonomous and self-sufficient.

Elizabeth Ross Hite interview Elizabeth Ross Hite interview (c. 1937 - c. 1941) by Federal Writers' ProjectAmistad Research Center

Between 1937 and 1941, the Federal Writers' Project, a program of the Works Progress Administration, conducted hundreds of interviews with Louisiana residents. Included among the interviews were older African American residents who had been enslaved or whose parents had been enslaved. Here, Elizabeth Ross Hite, who was born on the Trinity Plantation in Iberville Parish, recalls a story of Jim, an enslaved man who ran away and eventually returned to the plantation where he lived.

"The Riot in New Orleans--Murder of the Rev. Mr. Horton..." (1866-08-25) by Harper's WeeklyAmistad Research Center

Reconstruction in Louisiana

The Reconstruction Era profoundly affected life in Louisiana, and the struggle for control of the state brought both gains and obstacles to African Americans. This era saw the institution of restrictive laws, called “black codes,” which sought to limit new freedoms immediately following the Civil War. However, newly-enfranchised Blacks gained a voice in government for the first time in American history, winning election to state offices and the U.S. Congress. In less than a decade, the rise of reactionary forces, including the Ku Klux Klan, reversed gains of African Americans in a violent backlash that sought to restore white supremacy in the South.

"The Riot in New Orleans" (1866-08-25) by Harper's WeeklyAmistad Research Center

On July 30, 1866, conflict erupted between a group of New Orleans police, firemen, and ex-Confederates and an African American delegation seeking entrance to the Louisiana Constitutional Convention held at the Mechanics Institute. A mob surrounded the building and rushed in to attack the delegates. Conflict spread beyond the Institute and over 270 people were killed or wounded, many of them African American residents of New Orleans.

"The Lousiana Murders--Gathering the Dead and Wounded" (1873-05-10) by Harper's WeeklyAmistad Research Center

Conflict between white Democrats and the Republican federal government led to conflict throughout the state. In 1873, an all-Black militia seized the Grant Parish courthouse fearing a Democratic takeover. A mob of 150 white men, most members of the Ku Klux Klan and the White League, surrounded the militia. Following their surrender, many of the African American men were shot or hanged by the mob. The Colfax Massacre is considered the single bloodiest instance of racial violence during the Reconstruction Era.

"The Louisiana Outrages--Attack Upon the Police in the Streets of New Orleans" (1874-10-03) by Harper's WeeklyAmistad Research Center

New Orleans again saw conflict between armed groups in 1874 when the White League attacked the city’s Metropolitan Police in an attempt to depose Gov. William Pitt Kellogg. This marked a turning point in Louisiana, affectively ending Reconstruction policies in the state. Dubbed “The Battle of Liberty Place” by White League supporters, the conflict became a symbol of pride for white supremacists. A monument erected in 1891 to commemorate the White League dead stood until its removal in 2017.

Extract from the Reconstructed Constitution of the State of Louisiana (1868) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

The New Orleans Massacre of 1866 galvanized national opposition to the moderate Reconstruction policies of President Andrew Johnson. Republican victories in Congress led to the Reconstruction Acts of 1867, which enfranchised adult Black men and called for new constitutional conventions. In September of that year, 49 white and 49 Black delegates attended the Louisiana constitutional convention and ratified a new state constitution in March 1868. This constitution was the first in Louisiana to contain a bill of rights, established integrated public schools, and eradicated the states Black Codes.

Oscar J. Dunn (c. 1868 - c. 1871) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

Oscar J. Dunn was born into slavery in 1826, but following the ratification of the Louisiana Constitution of 1868, Dunn became the first elected Black lieutenant governor of a U.S. state. He served from 1868-1871. A strong advocate for equitable opportunities for African Americans, Dunn’s career also included tenure on the New Orleans Board of Aldermen, the presidency of the city’s integrated Metropolitan Police, and as a member of Straight University’s Board of Trustees. Dunn’s leadership was complimented by both his Republican colleagues and Democratic opponents and he was believed to be on track to be Louisiana governor prior to his untimely death in 1871.

P.B.S. Pinchback (c. 1883) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

Born free in Georgia in 1837, Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback became a commissioned officer in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was elected to the Louisiana State Senate in 1868 and became acting lieutenant governor of the state following the death of Oscar J. Dunn. He then served as interim governor of Louisiana from December 1872 to January 1873, becoming the first African American to serve as a U.S. governor. He was elected to the United States Congress in 1872 but was never seated due to the election being contested.

The "Abraham Lincoln School" for Freedmen, New Orleans, Louisiana (1866-04-21) by Harper's WeeklyAmistad Research Center

Education was another area that saw both gains and backlash during the Reconstruction Era. The Freedmen's Bureau and private missionary organizations, such as the American Missionary Association, began establishing schools for newly free Blacks. The Abraham Lincoln School was one of the largest free schools established for Black students by the Union Army during the Civil War. It occupied the former medical school building of the University of Louisiana (now Tulane University).

To Donors for Rebuilding of Straight University To Donors for Rebuilding of Straight University (1877-03-31) by James A. AdamsAmistad Research Center

Straight University was founded by the American Missionary Association in 1869 as a non-sectarian school open to all, but particularly for the benefit of freedmen following the Civil War. Seymour Straight, its major patron, was a prominent New Orleans Radical Republican and businessman. The University’s major graduates in law and medicine were able to practice in Louisiana without further examination. An arsonist burned down the University at its Esplanade Avenue location in 1877, and the following year a new central building, Straight Hall, was constructed on Canal Street, which also burned down in 1892. This letter, from Straight's principal, James A. Adams, calls for donations following the 1877 fire.

Poll tax receipt (1897) by State of LouisianaAmistad Research Center

Jim Crow

During the Jim Crow era, attorneys and activists in Louisiana fought segregation and disenfranchisement on multiple fronts. Two areas of focus emerged in the struggle for equality: voter registration and education. African American leaders, such as the Citizens’ Committee (Comité des Citoyens), engaged in various forms of protest on many levels, while attorneys such as A.P. Tureaud, Daniel E. Byrd and others took up the call of the NAACP to attack segregation in the courts. Still, African Americans in Louisiana endured not only racist laws, but the daily terror of lynchings, beatings, and unfair practices.

Editorial from The Cruasder (1891-07-04) by Ropdolphe L. DesdunesAmistad Research Center

The Separate Car Act was passed by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1890. The law required “equal, but separate” accommodations for African Americans and whites on train cars. Numerous articles and editorials, such as this one by activist, journalist, and customs official Rodolphe Desdunes, appeared in the African American newspaper, The Crusader, arguing against the law.

Report of Proceedings for the Annulment of Act 111 of 1890 / by The Citizens Committee Report of Proceedings for the Annulment of Act 111 of 1890 / by The Citizens Committee by The Citizens' CommitteeAmistad Research Center

The following year a group of 18 prominent African American men in New Orleans formed the Citizens’ Committee (Comité des Citoyens) to challenge the new law. This pamphlet reports a meeting of the committee in the offices of The Crusader with the express purpose of taking "some definite action toward offering legal resistance to [the law's] operation." This resistance would lead first to a challenge by Daniel Desdunes, son of Rodolphe Desdunes, and then Homer A. Plessy.

Daily Picayune article concerning arrest of Homer A. Plessy (1892-06-09) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

On June 7, 1892, Homer A. Plessy boarded an East Louisiana Railroad car reserved for whites with the intent, not to actually travel aboard the train, but to challenge the Jim Crow laws that were the basis for segregation in the South. Plessy’s action was part of a coordinated effort and resulted in his arrest. This article reporting the arrest of Plessy appeared in the New Orleans Daily Picayune.

Affidavit of Detective C.C. Cain (1892-06-08) by State of Louisiana. Second Recorder's Court of the City of New OrleansAmistad Research Center

Affidavit by Detective C.C. Cain regarding the arrest of Homer A. Plessy.

Daily Picayune article concerning Judge John H. Ferguson's ruling on Louisiana's Separate Car Act (1892-11-19) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

Plessy and his lawyers took his legal battle first to the Louisiana Supreme Court, where the case was presided over by Judge John H. Ferguson. This Daily Picayune article announces the result of that case. The case continued to the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in 1896, ruled against Plessy in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson by a vote of 7 to 1 and upheld the doctrine of “separate but equal.” This doctrine would stand until the 1954 Brown V. Board of Education ruling.

Headline in August, 24, 1946, issue of The Louisiana Weekly (1946-08-24) by The Louisiana WeeklyAmistad Research Center

Between 1889 and 1918, 313 lynchings were reported in Louisiana. Of those, 85% involved the lynching of African Americans. While lynchings declined during the 1920s and 1930s thanks to the NAACP’s anti-lynching campaign, the practice did not disappear. In August 1946, World War II veteran John C. Jones and his nephew Albert Harris Jr. were jailed in Webster Parish and accused of threatening to attack a white woman. The men were turned over to a group of white locals, who took them north of the town of Minden and beat them, resulting in Jones’ death. This was the first post-war lynching to occur in Louisiana. The Louisiana Weekly featured news of the lynching on its front page, along with a picture of Jones.

Copies of telegrams sent by Daniel E. Byrd regading 1946 lynching of John C. Jones in Webster Parish, Louisiana. (1946-08-16) by Daniel E. ByrdAmistad Research Center

Attorneys Daniel E. Byrd and A.P. Tureaud, along with journalist John E. Rousseau and two reporters from the Pittsburgh Courier traveled to Webster Parish to investigate the lynching. Writing to Louisiana governor James H. Davis and U.S. Attorney General Tom C. Clark, Byrd called for both state and federal officials to investigate. The FBI did form an investigation, the first such investigation of a Louisiana lynching. A federal trial resulted in indictments of six men, the first such prosecution of its kind in Louisiana.

Report of Investigation of Lynching of John C. Jones Report of Investigation of Lynching of John C. Jones (August 1946) by Daniel E. ByrdAmistad Research Center

This report by attorney Daniel E. Byrd outlined the circumstances believed to lead to the lynching of John C. Jones in August 1946, contacts assisting with the investigation, and the names of the accused lynch mob.

Salary schedule for white and colored teachers, principals, and secretaries (September 1946) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

Discrepancies in salary between white and Black workers were common in the Jim Crow era. Attorney A.P. Tureaud and Thurgood Marshall of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund successfully argued the first teacher salary equalization case in Louisiana, Joseph P. McKelpin v. Orleans Parish School Board. The case was settled out of court in September 1942, and African American teachers were offered a graduated pay increase over the next two years. This document illustrates the discrepancies in pay prior to the outcome of the McKelpin case and notes the pending equalization.

A Tentative Approach to Negro History For Use in Grades 1-4 New Orleans Colored Public Schools (March 1936) by George LongeAmistad Research Center

African American leaders, particularly in New Orleans, sought to ensure that African American history was part of local school curricula as early as the mid-1930s, at least for segregated African American schools. In 1934, Mr. E.W. Eley, Assistant Superintendent of New Orleans Public Schools appointed George Longe, Principal of Albert Wicker Junior High School, to formulate a plan whereby African American history would be correlated with regular history courses throughout New Orleans’ Black public schools. The resulting report entitled “Tentative Approach to Negro History” was the result of that charge.

Joseph A. Hardin and A.P. Tureaud to Harry J. Early Joseph A. Hardin and A.P. Tureaud to Harry J. Early (c. 1936) by Joseph A. Hardin and A.P. TureaudAmistad Research Center

Civic activist Joseph A. Hardin and attorney A.P. Tureaud would reference George Longe's effort in their proposal to Harry J. Early of the Louisiana State Emergency Relief under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Hardin and Tureaud sought to gather historical documents "dealing with the life and history of Negroes both as individuals and as a race" throughout Louisiana that could be cataloged and used "in the educational advancement of this State." These efforts would eventually lead to the short-lived organization called the Archives of Negro History, which lasted from 1968 to Tureaud's death in 1972.

"Sues Registrar for Right to Vote" (1944) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

In April 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Smith v. Allwright, a voting rights case that struck down "white primaries" that disenfranchised African American voters by excluding minority voters in primary elections. This led to a surge in voter registration drives in Louisiana. One in St. John the Baptist Parish would lead to what attorney Daniel E. Byrd called "the turning-point of registration in Louisiana." The attempt of Edward T. Hall and others to register led to the federal court case Edward T. Hall v. T.J. Nagel.

Notarized statement by Edward Hall (1944-08-30) by Edward HallAmistad Research Center

In August 1944, Edward T. Hall, president of the St. John the Baptist Parish NAACP, led a group of African Americans to register in Edgard, Louisiana. Rather than give them application forms, the registrar of voters, T.J. Nagel, asked them a series of questions (outlined in Hall's sworn statement) before rejecting them as unqualified to register. In July, Hall and the others sued Nagel in federal court.

Edward Hall v T.J. Nagel, Transcript of Record, Circuit Court of Appeals (c. December 1945) by United States. Circuit Court of Appeals. Fifth CircuitAmistad Research Center

A federal district judge dismissed the original lawsuit, but attorneys A.P. Tureaud and Thurgood Marshall filed an appeal, which was argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Birmingham, Alabama. The Appeals court reversed the earlier ruling by the district court, allowing Hall's complaint to move forward.

A.P. Tureaud to Thurgood Marshall (1945-10-16) by A.P. TureaudAmistad Research Center

After filing his appeal, Tureaud visited Edward Hall in St. John the Baptist Parish and found him reluctant to move forward with the case. Such fears by African American plaintiffs were legitimate as they faced intimidation and threats from the white community, law enforcement, and elected officials.

Thurgood Marshall to A.P. Tureaud (1945-10-23) by Thurgood MarshallAmistad Research Center

In his response to A.P. Tureaud's earlier letter regarding Hall's reticence, Thurgood Marshall stated that as a witness in a federal case it would be "practically impossible that anyone would do anything to [Hall]."

Bougalusa, Louisiana, march (Spring 1965) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

Civil Rights Movement

Historian Adam Fairclough has noted that the civil rights struggle in Louisiana "bore little resemblance to the Montgomery to Selma story," noting African American activism throughout the state began much earlier than the period of 1955 to 1965. Activists, educators, and attorneys not only continued their work from earlier decades but became important, yet often overlooked, leaders in the modern Civil Rights Movement in Louisiana. From the 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott to the beginnings of public school integration and the Freedom Rides, these struggles sought to combat the rhetoric of white supremacist groups such as the Citizens' Council that spread throughout the state.

Integration Today Means Racial and National Suicide Tomorrow! (c. 1960s) by Citizens' Council of New OrleansAmistad Research Center

Jackson Ricau interview

Following the 1954 Brown v. Board decision, white segregationists throughout the South created a network of organizations that came to be called Citizens’ Councils (commonly known as White Citizens’ Councils). Such councils flourished across Louisiana and spread their message through a robust publishing campaign. This booklet circulated by the Citizens’ Council in New Orleans included photographs of white women kissing African American men, news accounts of racial violence, crime statistics, and a message to New Orleans teachers that school integration would lead to teacher integration and the loss of jobs.

In this interview excerpt, Citizens' Council member Jackson Ricau discusses his view on the benefits of segregation.

T.J. Jemison (c. 1965?) by John F. Williams, PhotographerAmistad Research Center

In 1953, while minister of a large church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rev. T.J. Jemison helped lead the first large-scale boycott of a southern segregated bus service. The United Defense League, churches, and several other organizers conducted a well-organized boycott of city buses in Baton Rouge for seven days in June. The organization of free rides, as opposed to taking the bus, was a model used later by the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama, which started in 1955.

Letter to Julius A. Thomas (1953-06-23) by John G. Lewis Jr.?Amistad Research Center

This June 1953 letter, presumably from John G. Lewis, Jr., Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons of Louisiana, to Julius A. Thomas of the National Urban League reports on the Baton Rouge bus boycott. Lewis gives a detailed update three days into the boycott including describing the money raised by two mass meetings and the number of cars being used to provide free rides to all bus patrons.

"Demonstrators Held Back by Police at William Frantz School" (1960-11-14) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

Legal action to end public school segregation in Louisiana began prior to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision and continued with a plan issued by federal judge J. Skelly Wright in May 1960. Wright called for a graduated desegregation plan beginning with first grade and progressing upward one grade a year until all the grades were integrated. Wright chose the first grade as the starting grade because in his view children of that age “were not color conscious; they haven’t been taught to hate.”

On the morning of November 14, 1960, four young African American girls – Ruby Bridges, Gail Etienne, Tessie Prevost, and Leona Tate – entered first grade at McDonogh No. 19 and William Frantz elementary schools, formerly all-white schools located in the Ninth Ward.

"Federal Marshal Wallace Downs" (1960-11-14) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

When McDonogh No. 19 and William Frantz were integrated, the four young girls were escorted by federal marshals during their first year at the new schools. Etienne, Prevost, and Tate attended McDonogh No. 19, while Bridges attended William Frantz. This newspaper image shows young Gail Etienne being escorted by federal marshal Wallace Downs.

Freedom Riders (December 1961) by The Louisiana WeeklyAmistad Research Center

Oretha Castle Haley interview

The 1961 Freedom Rides by members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sought to test a 1960 decision by the Supreme Court that segregation of interstate transportation facilities, including bus terminals, was unconstitutional. Beginning on May 2, 1961, a series of Freedom Rides began, which continued throughout the year. This image from The Louisiana Weekly illustrates the participation of New Orleans CORE members in the Rides.

In the audio clip, Oretha Castle Haley discusses her participation in CORE.

Deacons for Defense and Justice in Bogalusa, Louisiana (1965) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

A chapter of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, an armed African American self-defense group, formed in Bogalusa in February 1965. The Deacons sought to protect African American families and civil rights workers from the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups. They worked closely with CORE and SNCC in Bogalusa during the mid 1960s.

In the video clip, Bogalusa Deacons leader Robert Hicks recalls working with CORE during the 1960s.

Detail from cover of The Angolite, Nov/Dec 1979 (November/December 1979) by UnknownAmistad Research Center

Mass Incarceration

Mass incarceration is rooted in the history of racial subjugation in the South, beginning with slavery and stretching through peonage up to today. By 1860, over 330,000 people were enslaved in Louisiana. Since then, the state's soil has continued to be cultivated with the bodies of Black people. In 2019, 135,000 Louisianians, most of whom are Black, were incarcerated or under criminal supervision.

Front cover of Louisiana on Lockdown Report (2019-06) by American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana and Jesuit Social Research Institute. Loyola University New OrleansAmistad Research Center

Louisiana has long been the incarceration capital of the world, home to notorious sprawling state prisons, an extensive network of jails, and immigrant detention centers. Jailing people at such an overwhelming rate, especially during a global health pandemic, has painful human costs. Far too many people are incarcerated in conditions that threaten their health, safety, and human dignity on a daily basis. In 2018, ACLU of Louisiana, along with partners, interviewed 709 people held in solitary confinement and learned firsthand the conditions of this institution. The image on this report cover is from one of the interviewees who informed the report by providing a personal depiction of his struggles.

A Portrait of Alfred Marshall, a survivor of pretrial incarceration (2016-06-04) by New Orleans People Project/Gus BennettAmistad Research Center

Alfred Marshall interview

The current system is straining communities and violating people’s dignity. In Louisiana, people incarcerated pretrial stay in jail not because they’re guilty, but because they’re poor. The effects of incarceration cannot be overstated. Here, Alfred Marshall shares how he was forced to remain incarcerated while still innocent because he could not afford to pay bail. In 2020, ACLU of Louisiana published the first statewide assessment of Louisiana’s pretrial system.

Orleans Parish Criminal CourthouseAmistad Research Center

“The Impartial Administration of Justice is the Foundation of Liberty” is etched on the front of this Louisiana courthouse. However, Louisiana’s criminal legal system, in practice, regularly flouts the Constitution and our shared values of liberty, justice, and honesty. While crime rates have steadily decreased, the system continues to disproportionately affect Black people, communities of color, poor people, women, people with disabilities, and many others. Achieving a system that works for all of us at the expense of none of us will take immense work. The good news is that it’s already being done.

Black Lives Matter logoAmistad Research Center

Black Lives Matter 

Nearly five Black people, on average, have been killed a week by law enforcement since 2015. In 2013, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, who fatally shot an unarmed 17-year-old Black boy, Trayvon Martin, three Black women named Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi founded Black Lives Matter to demand Black liberation from state-inflicted violence. Since then, the Black Lives Matter movement has evolved through the collective labor of thousands of Black liberation activists and organizations, each with their own history. 

Black Lives Matter Protest, New Orleans, Louisiana (2020-06-03) by Maggy BaccinelliAmistad Research Center

This June 3, 2020, protest occurred in front of Duncan Plaza in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was one of thousands of protests that took place after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black father, for eight minutes and 46 seconds as Floyd begged for his life and was suffocated to death days earlier.
Louisiana has the largest ratio of police officers to residents of any state, and police misconduct goes largely unchecked. ACLU of Louisiana’s “Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial” is enlisting law firms and clinics from to represent plaintiffs in Louisiana who have experienced alleged, racially-motivated police misconduct.

ACLU of Louisiana's Children's March for Racial Justice (2020-06-20) by American Civil Liberties Union of LouisianaAmistad Research Center

On June 20, 2020, nearly 60 years after hundreds of children were injured or arrested as part of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade, ACLU of Louisiana led the state’s first-ever Children’s March for Racial Justice. This event gave families the opportunity to center their children’s voices in the discussion about police violence and racism. It included youth performances; a book reading; a creative exercise facilitated by artist Brandan “BMike” Odums through which kids imagined a world without police violence; and a march, which gave many children the opportunity to exercise their First Amendment rights for the first time.

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Exhibition curated by Christopher Harter with assistance from Maggy Baccinelli and A'Niya Robinson.

The Amistad Research Center is committed to collecting, preserving, and providing open access to original materials that reference the social and cultural importance of America's ethnic and racial history, the African Diaspora, and global social justice movements.


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Since 1956, the ACLU of Louisiana has worked to advance and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States and Louisiana. We are part of a nationwide network of affiliates that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.


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