A COVID Mardi Gras ‘Holds the Possibility for Renewal’

A Carnival Season Like No Other Seeks to Bring New Orleans Together—From a Distance

The New Orleans parade known as the Krewe of Jeanne d’Arc rolls every year on January 6th—Joan of Arc’s birthday, and also the day that the Carnival season begins. The small walking parade usually winds through a crowded, glittering French Quarter. Marchers playact Joan’s biography, adorned in medieval attire with beautifully handcrafted props symbolizing her journey to sainthood. It’s a lively and loving celebration of female heroism, spiritual fortitude in the face of ruthless authority, and the city’s French history.

Most years, the parade is a fun evening out. This …

Looking for Jazz Uplift Under Lockdown | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Looking for Jazz Uplift Under Lockdown

A Music Critic Considers the Power of Time-Honored Rituals When They Can’t Happen as They Should

Three days after the September 11 terrorist attacks I left my Brooklyn home, tracing backward the trail that thick billows of smoke had blown across the East River, to hear …

The New Orleans Creoles Who Challenged Racism by Challenging Race Itself  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The New Orleans Creoles Who Challenged Racism by Challenging Race Itself 

Alongside Homer Plessy, Mixed-Race Activists Used a Unique Legal Arsenal to Attack White Supremacy

It took years of research for me to track down a photograph of the mysterious New Orleanian E. Arnold Bertonneau. Born in 1834, this Civil War-era civil rights pioneer was …

How Sicilian Merchants in New Orleans Reinvented America’s Diet | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Sicilian Merchants in New Orleans Reinvented America’s Diet

In the 1830s, They Brought Lemons, Commercial Dynamism, and a Willingness to Fight Elites

When I started writing a book exploring the crucial contributions that Sicilians had made to New Orleans food culture, I sat down to talk with fabled restaurateur Salvatore “Joe” Segreto. …

In Louisiana’s Fishing Villages, Food and Faith Are Found in the Water

Photographer J. T. Blatty Captures a Vanishing Way of Life in the Bayou

For generations, water has provided everything to the people of southeastern Louisiana’s fishing communities. Their meals. Their livelihoods. Their recreation. Their birthright. Even their faith, as one photograph by J. …