Erasing Lines of Class and Color in Storyville(s), New Orleans

Author(s): D. Ryan Gray

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Urban Erasures and Contested Memorial Assemblages" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

In 1941, the Housing Authority of New Orleans opened the Iberville Housing Project, one of a series of federally funded public housing developments built as components of a slum clearance effort happening all over the city.  Iberville was unique among these developments, in that its footprint almost precisely coincided with the boundaries of Storyville, the city’s short-lived red light district (1898-1917), by then closed for over two decades.  Storyville has taken on an out-sized reputation in New Orleans lore, but there has been little serious engagement with how it is memorialized in the present.  The physical erasure of Storyville, and of its lesser-known racially-segregated counterpart, made possible historical narratives that ignored problematic intersections of labor, race, and sexuality in Jim Crow era New Orleans.  This paper examines tensions between contemporary archaeological and historical investigations of Storyville and popular perceptions of its significance.

Cite this Record

Erasing Lines of Class and Color in Storyville(s), New Orleans. D. Ryan Gray. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449257)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 151