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City of a Million DreamsNew Orleans at Year 300$
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Jason Berry

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469647142

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469647142.001.0001

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St. Maló in the Memory Rings

St. Maló in the Memory Rings

(p.27) 2 St. Maló in the Memory Rings
City of a Million Dreams

Jason Berry

University of North Carolina Press

New Orleans at year ten was a black majority town with slave labor. The 1724 Code Noir aligned Louisiana slave law to that of the French Caribbean colonies. Slave owners pragmatically let Africans carry weapons, hire out for jobs, farm, hunt, fish, and sell the products of their labor. Africans traded goods at a growing African marketplace, and gathered to resurrect the burial choreographies and ceremonial dances of their mother culture. The Bamana belief in the transmigration of souls was a powerful sense of cultural continuity. In 1743, when Bienville departed, the town had survived financial convulsions, floods, food shortages, a slave revolt, Indian tensions, maroons—fugitive slaves—and smugglers in a black market. After Spain assumed control of New Orleans in 1765, Code Noir transitioned to Spanish slave law, giving slaves more rights. By 1781, the maroon village Ville Gaillard was a significant force led by the fugitive Creole Juan Maló. After many conflicts with the authorities, Maló was captured and executed on June 12, 1784. St. Maló’s resistance burrowed into the memory of African Americans, his legacy influenced by funeral dances and voodoo, his memory preserved through oral culture, and his impact still felt to this day.

Keywords:   Sister Gertrude Morgan, Bride of Christ, Missionary, Larry Borenstein, Gay bars, Integration, Preservation Hall, Paintings, Jazz

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