Black History Comes Alive on Tour Tremé

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July 1 2020 | Family Travel Tips

Give your family a renewed appreciation for the contribution of African Americans to New Orleans on Tour Tremé from French Quarter Phantoms.

Before the Civil War, the Tremé, the oldest African-American neighborhood in America, was home to more free people of color than any other area. Jazz was born and grew up here. Mardi Gras Indians sew and display their magnificent suits here. And Civil Rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thurgood Marshall strategized here at Dooky Chase’s, one of the few restaurants that served both blacks and whites during the Jim Crow era.

You’ll experience Armstrong Park, named for jazz legend Louis Armstrong, perhaps the most famous New Orleanian of all time. There you'll visit hallowed ground, Congo Square, where enslaved people and free people of color were allowed to gather for drumming and chanting on Sundays before the Civil War.

Your kids will learn about Louisiana’s Code Noir, a body of laws relating to enslaved people and free blacks. Outside St. Augustine Church, founded in 1841, you’ll stand before the grave of the Unknown Slave. With its chains and shackles, it’s quite a moving experience. Famous parishioners of the church include civil rights activist Homer Plessy, jazz great Sidney Bechet, civil rights attorney A.P. Tureaud, and Mardi Gras Indian “Chief of Chiefs” Allison “Tootie” Montana.

Another highlight of the tour is a visit to Tremé’s Petit Jazz Museum where you’ll view archival photographs, vintage instruments, art depicting the city’s musical history, old Jazz Fest posters and more.

If you’re looking for a fascinating experience that will make your kids think, Tour Tremé is it.

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