Cherished Memories

Snapshots of Life and Lessons from a 1950s New Orleans Creole Village

CHERISHED MEMORIES takes a memorable journey back to New Orleans of the 1950s. Professor Beverly Jacques Anderson shares stories from her childhood and from her elementary school classmates, providing a fascinating look at the experience of growing up in the Creole culture of the Seventh Ward of New Orleans. This culture indelibly shaped the character, personality, and aspirations of Anderson and her elementary school classmates, many of whom became hard working, family-oriented, service–oriented, productive, self-assured citizens.

Creole culture in the Seventh Ward was rooted in close family ties, hard work, creativity, high expectations, independence, the Golden Rule, Catholicism, shared language/manner of speaking, and a shared sense of belonging to a unique community. Teachers, parents, and principals—all African Americans—valued education and set high standards for student achievement. According to interviews with twelve of the author’s classmates, these beliefs, along with the unwavering support of parents and teachers, helped to produce competitive individuals in all walks of life. The Creole culture was also rooted in racial, ethnic, and religious segregation that affected individuals in surprising ways.

Anderson also examines the history of public and Catholic education for children of color in the Seventh Ward of New Orleans and addresses the impact of the school on the community and vice versa.

Explore this fascinating community and its educational history with Cherished Memories.

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