In the Hum of a B-flat City
In this prologue, Berry describes how the jazz funeral of black musician and composer Allen Toussaint coincided with a debate over removing four Confederate monuments. Through this lens, Berry examines how the events surrounding the Toussaint burial pageant magnified the roiling debate over myth, memory, and politics, as well as how the beguiling image of New Orleans grew from a culture of spectacle in tension with a city of laws, an official city the popular culture challenged. Through his descriptions of the Toussaint funeral, his own conversations with Toussaint prior to his death, and an examination of race, history, Mardi Gras, and identity in New Orleans, Berry examines how the city opened into a series of adventures in which its identity kept shifting, becoming a crossroads of humanity that forged a Creole culture rich in foodways, music, tradition, and more.
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