About New Orleans 300
The New Orleans Public Library is proud to present New Orleans 300, a fascinating series of discussions, presentations, and book-signings created to bring New Orleans & The World to life through in-depth programs featuring contributors to the book. In addition to programs related to New Orleans & The World, the series includes Lagniappe programs and exhibits which highlight many of the unique aspects of New Orleans that make it such a special place.
About New Orleans & The World
New Orleans & The World: 1718 - 2018 Tricentennial Anthology is a collection of essays by leading scholars that illuminates the role of the city in major events in U.S. and world history, the economic innovations and culture expressions birthed in the city that impacted people around the globe, and the succeeding waves of new populations who redefined the city's shape and society. New Orleans & The World serves as the official publication of the Tricentennial year and has been coordinated with the 2018 Tricentennial Commission and the 2018 NOLA Foundation.
Sponsored by Friends of the New Orleans Public Library, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH), Arts Council of New Orleans, City of New Orleans, Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame, NOLA4Women, and Guardians Institute.
January 7 to March 24
Lagniappe Event: Queens, Baby Dolls and Social & Pleasure Clubs: Traditions & Rituals
Exhibition of photographs and ceremonial attire of women who participate in the community based customs of the Black Masking/ Mardi Gras Indian, Baby Doll, and Social Club traditions. While African American men’s roles in the indigenous ritual procession traditions go back over a century, the vital role of women is not as widely known. This exhibit illustrates a historical overview of the pride and work involved in preparing for the neighborhood processions that bring beauty and pride to New Orleans. This is documented through photographs and the ceremonial attire of these women.
Organized by Queen Cherice Harrison-Nelson and curated by Herreast J. Harrison.
Sunday, January 7 from 2pm - 4pm featuring a talk, performance, and book sale.
Sunday, January 14 from 2pm - 4pm
Lagniappe Event: Pretty Strong: Femininity and Community Processions
The focus of this panel discussion is on the expanding role of women in Mardi Gras Indian, Social & Pleasure Clubs, and Baby Doll traditions and their contributions to community building and neighborhood pride. The panel will include Maroon Queen Cherice Harrison-Nelson, Guardians of the Flame; Dianne Honoré, Sugar Baroness, Black Storyville Baby Dolls; Trishekka Randolph-Tero, Revolution Social and Pleasure Club; and moderator Maryse Dejean, WWOZ Community Radio Station.
Wednesday, February 21 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Martin Luther King Library
Ndar To New Orleans
Zella Palmer, chair of the Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture, will discuss the African roots of Louisiana’s Creole cuisine.
Further reading: New Orleans con Sabor Latino: The History and Passion of Latino Cooking (University Press of MS, 2013)
Saturday, March 17 from 1pm - 2:30pm
Algiers Regional Library
A Window to Africa
Have a look at the significant ways enslaved Africans perpetuated cultural and commercial practices at Congo Square with author, independent scholar, and arts educator, Freddi Williams Evans.
Further reading: Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans (University of Lafayette Press, 2011)
Wednesday, April 11 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Join Notarial Archivist Sally Reeves for a discussion about how the public markets of New Orleans were once synonymous with urban life. From colonial times forward, the city put major stock into its market system, which became big business for the economy. It was an incubator for many of the city’s old French restaurants and functioned as a major employer and free market forum until well into the 20th century.
Wednesday, April 25 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Defining Jazz Fest
Kick off week one of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival with New Orleans cultural scholar and writer Alex Rawls as he explores the history, heritage, and heirs of the festival at the Fairgrounds.
Rawls is a New Orleans-based music journalist and creator of the website MySpiltMilk.com. He has also contributed to Rolling Stone, Spin, No Depression, USA Today, San Diego Union-Tribune, and the New Orleans Advocate. He previously edited OffBeat, New Orleans’ music monthly, and guest edited the Louisiana music issue of The Oxford American.
Tuesday, May 8 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Norman Mayer Library
New Orleans and the Civil War
Lawrence N. Powell, Professor Emeritus of History at Tulane University, will guide us through the conflict that transformed New Orleans from capital of the Cotton Kingdom to frontier of emancipation.
Further reading: New Masters: Northern Planters During the Civil War and Reconstruction (Fordham University Press, 1999) and The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans (Harvard University Press, 2012)
Wednesday, May 23 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Robert E. Smith Library
Wettest City on Earth
Celebrate New Orleans' love affair with the cocktail with teacher, designer, regular The New Orleans Advocate contributor and champagne enthusiast Allison Alsup at this very special session of Smith Library's History of the Cocktail.
Further reading: French Quarter Drinking Companion, 2nd Edition (Pelican, 2017)
Thursday, June 7 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Join Keith Weldon Medley for a look at how the power of activism by New Orleans' free people of color led to the Plessy v. Ferguson case.
Further reading: We As Freemen: Plessy v. Ferguson (Pelican, 2003) and Black Life in Old New Orleans (Pelican, 2014)
Wednesday, July 18 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center
Cradle of Rock and Roll
Alison Fensterstock will look back at how Cosimo Matassa, Dave Bartholomew, and Allen Toussaint forged the future at J&M Studio. She'll be joined in conversation by Jazz Fest historian Alex Rawls.
Further reading & listening: New Orleans: The Underground Guide, 3rd Edition (UNO Press, 2014) and The Cosimo Matassa Story (Proper Records, 2007)
Wednesday, August 15 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Nora Navra Library
The Sporting Life & The Saints Are Coming
S. Derby Gisclair and Brian Boyles will converse about the unifying cultural effects of sports through boxing, baseball, and horse racing during New Orleans’ gilded age and Super Bowl XLIV following Hurricane Katrina.
Further reading: New Orleans Boom and Blackout: 100 Days in America’s Coolest Hotspot (The History Press, 2015), Baseball in New Orleans (Arcadia, 2004), and Baseball at Tulane University (Arcadia, 2007)
Sunday, August 19 from 2pm - 3:30pm
East New Orleans Regional Library
In Katrina's Wake
New Orleanians fought through floodwaters and uncertainty to return home. Journalist Katy Reckdahl looks back at the tragedy and perseverance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Further reading: Reckdahl is a frequent contributor to The New Orleans Advocate, The Times Picayune, The Lens, The New York Times, and many other news organizations. Inquire at your favorite Library location for free access to The New York Times online.
Thursday, September 20 from 5pm - 6:30pm
Central City Library
Engine of Equality
Join Kara Tucina Olidge, PhD, Executive Director of the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, to explore New Orleans as a frontier for legal battles and protests that fueled the Civil Rights movement.
Friday, September 21 from 5:30pm - 7pm
Louisiana Is Ours
Historian, author, and former director of The Historic New Orleans Collection John Kukla, PhD, will explore the international crisis that led to the Louisiana Purchase and the establishment of New Orleans as one of the United States’ most spectacular cities.
Further reading: Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty (Simon & Schuster, 2017) and A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America (Knopf, 2003)
October - check back for additional details
Main Library, 3rd Floor
Lagniappe Event: What Lies Underneath: Exploring the Louisiana Division/City Archives & Special Collections
Staff from the Louisiana Division/City Archives & Special Collections will explain the history of the department, its extensive holdings, their efforts to ensure that this unique collection is accessible, and exactly why the archival collection is in a basement. There will also be a special selection of materials on display for attendees to view with accompanying explanation of their importance by staff. Call 504-596-2610 for program dates and times.
Wednesday, October 17 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Delve into the life of Patrina, Wild Queen of the Red Hawk Hunters, the first woman to lead a Mardi Gras Indian tribe with author, restauranteur, and founding member of the Peauxdunque Writers’ Alliance Maurice Carlos Ruffin.
Further reading: Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (UCPress, 2013), New Orleans Noir: The Classics (Akashic Books, 2016), and Ruffin’s soon-to-be-released debut novel, We Cast A Shadow (One World Random House, 2019)
Wednesday, November 14 from 6pm - 7:30pm
Children's Resource Center Library
Cities of the Dead
New Orleans iconic cemeteries evolved from necessity and diversity. Photographer, writer, and artist Sally Asher will show us their function and beauty.
Further reading: Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names (The History Press, 2014) and Stories from the St. Louis Cemeteries of New Orleans (The History Press, 2015)
Thursday, November 29 from 6pm - 9pm
Milton H. Latter Memorial Library
Lagniappe Event: 300 Years of Great Stories
Join local and notable literary figures Susan Larson and Nancy Dixon as they highlight and discuss our City's rich treasure trove (300 years) of literary history. Following the event, the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library will help us celebrate by opening up Latter Library's Carriage House for a special book sale. Refreshments will be served.
Book talks, 6pm - 7:30pm
Book sale, 7:30pm - 9pm
Susan Larson is the host of The Reading Life on WWNO. She is also the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans (LSU Press, 1999/2013).
Nancy Dixon is the editor of New Orleans & The World: 1718-2018 Tricentennial Anthology (LEH, 2017). She is also the author of N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature (Lavender Ink, 2013).
Tuesday, December 11 from 6:30pm - 8pm
Cita Dennis Hubbell Library
The Soul of New Orleans
Clarinetist, composer, jazz historian and musical educator, Xavier University's Michael White, PhD, will celebrate with us a lifetime of second lines and jazz funerals at this very special Hubbell Author Night.
Further listening: Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 1 (Basin Street, 2011) and Adventures in New Orleans Jazz, Part 2 (Basin Street, 2012)