Black Women Activists in Nineteenth Century New Orleans: Marie Laveaux and Henriette Delille
The names Marie Laveaux and Henriette Delille have become synonymous with Vodou and Catholic charity respectively in scholarship. Laveaux and Delille were born femmes de couleur libres, or free women of color, a social class that enabled them to overcome barriers that limited black women activism in nineteenth-century New Orleans. These women were quadroons or octoroons who were expected to engage in placage unions with wealthy, white European men, which had been a matrilineal custom for generations. However, Laveaux and Delille chose a life of service to others rather than a life of privilege. This book explores how Laveaux and Delille used their faith-based practices to address the needs of the city’s poor, enslaved, and disenfranchised populations. It provides readers with an interest in cultural studies, religious and spiritual studies, and gender studies with an introduction to Laveaux and Delille as black women activists in nineteenth-century New Orleans.
Dr Tammie Jenkins received her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Louisiana State University. Her recent publications include The Haitian Revolution, The Harlem Renaissance, and Caribbean Negritude: Overlapping Discourses of Freedom and Identity, as well as book chapters in edited volumes such as Critical Insights: Virginia Woolf and Narrating History, Home, and Dyaspora: Critical Essays on Edwidge Danticat. She currently works as a special education teacher and is an independent scholar who has previously served as an Associate Editor for The Criterion and sat on the Editorial Board for Epitome.
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