42. Freddi Williams Evans and Luther Gray Are Erecting Historic Markers on the Slave Trade in New Orleans
Published May 14, 2018
13 min
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    Until a few weeks ago, one of the only places in downtown New Orleans acknowledging the city’s slave-trading past was a marker in Congo Square, erected in 1997. The New Orleans Committee to Erect Historic Markers on the Slave Trade has since put up two new markers, one on the transatlantic slave trade along the Moonwalk and another on the domestic slave trade at the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and Chartres Street. Author and historian Freddi Williams Evans and activist Luther Gray are the two original co-chairs of the committee.

    In this episode, Evans and Gray describe New Orleans’s past as the center of the overlapping international and domestic slave trades. They also discuss their conservation efforts at Congo Square, the logistics of erecting the markers with a sankofa bird instead of a pelican at the top, and the Maafa ceremony, which will host the unveiling of these markers later this year.

    This episode was recorded on May 10, 2018 in New Orleans. Committee members mentioned in this episode are Guy Hughes, Leon Waters, Ibrahima Seck, Erin Greenwald, Joshua Rothman, Joyce Miller, and Midlo Hall. Steve Prince designed the logo for the transatlantic marker.

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    Freddi Williams Evans
    Luther Gray

    Topics Discussed:

    00:00: Intro
    00:14: The New Orleans Committee to Erect Historic Markers on the Slave Trade
    00:35: Freddi Williams Evans and Luther Gray
    01:13: Origins of the Committee
    01:45: The History of Gatherings in Congo Square
    03:30: The International Slave Trade and the Domestic Slave Trade in Louisiana
    06:20: The Lack of Documentation of African Presence in New Orleans
    07:00: The Preservation of Congo Square
    08:02: The Logistics of Setting Up Markers
    10:34: Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project
    11:11: The Maafa Ceremony
    12:43: Outro

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