The Historic New Orleans Collection 2020 • hardcover
7.5" x 11" • 384 pp.
20 black-and-white images
As the United States descended into civil war, the influential community of French-speaking free people of color in New Orleans struck back against racial hostility by founding newspapers: L’Union: mémorial politique, littéraire et progressiste appeared in 1862, succeeded by La Tribune de la Nouvelle-Orléans in 1864. Collected here for the first time, the poetry printed in these papers unveils hidden verse conversations among a network of activist authors.
The original French poems appear alongside Clint Bruce’s sensitive English translations. A comprehensive introduction, biographies of the poets, and extensive annotations immerse readers in Civil War–era Louisiana. New evidence of a poetic hoax debuts in the volume, along with long-lost, recently discovered issues of La Tribune that report on the 1866 Mechanics’ Institute massacre.