Down Through the Years With the Louisiana Weekly

One of my greatest pleasures as a researcher/genealogist is to probe through old issues of The Louisiana Weekly . Those of you who know me can often find me on the 3rd floor of the Main Library in New Orleans sitting before a microfilm reader tediously going from page to page of issues that go back as far as 1925. All issues of this fascinating newspaper are  on microfilm which can be copied since the only original issues of “The Weekly” (as we’re so accustomed to saying) are housed at the Amistad Research Center on the campus of Tulane University.

So what am I looking for, you might ask. Anything, I would answer, especially photos and articles (preferably during the 1920’s-30’s and 40’s) depicting the strong community and family ties that held us as a people together during the most crucial times of our lives….segregation and the Jim Crow Era.

It was this era wherein our daily city newspapers: The Times-Picayune and States-Item  completely ignored us as a people and the rich community from whence we came. You couldn’t find our family photos nor engagement and wedding pictures featured within their pages. Our schools nor beauty pageants, dance schools, sororities, graduations, successful businesses, nor great local educators and religious institutions were there either. It was only through our local Louisiana Weekly, published once a week, could we find ourselves and not images of who we should be.

Of course The Weekly’s emphasis was placed on local, national, and international events that had tremendous effects on us in our struggle as a people, but my main interest was to capture some of those images from the past that portrayed us as a close knit and enriched society here in New Orleans. As you go through our blog you will come across images from The Louisiana Weekly which may not be as clear as you nor I would like, but it must be remembered that these are images taken from  reels that are images itself of the original pages of the newspaper. So bear with me and appreciate them for the people portrayed  and the stories they tell. This is the story of our people, our culture, and our families; most who are no longer with us but those who have impacted us and have made us who we are today.

Lolita V. Cherrie

8 thoughts on “Down Through the Years With the Louisiana Weekly

  1. Its great reading your blog. My grandfather – O. C. W. Taylor, as its first editor and C. C. Dejoie as its first publisher, founded the Louisiana Weekly back in something like 1925. My mother – Doris Taylor was the society editor for both the La. Weekly and the Pittsburgh Courier for a time. It was in the blood. I have been away from New Orleans for a lot of years, but those early memories made me who I am – especially how tough it was to survive and keep a “colored” paper going. Another relative – Uncle Greggy – Emanuel Gregoire wrote for the paper and sold many V bonds at its offices and yet another relative Louis Peter Bucksell was a photographer and worked many years taking pictures for the Louisiana Weekly. It is big in our family history and I hope it will survive for many years. The current papers are not much better to African Americans than they were when it was clear a paper for and about African Americans was needed. I read the Boston papers on a daily basis and they read as though this city – its businesses – society, etc. are all White.

  2. Such a rich family heritage! I am so indebted to the hard work your family put into the production of the Weekly since it began in 1925.. Without it, we would not have been able to create this blog and share this hidden and rich history of our people with all of you out there.

  3. Hi Maurice – great to hear from you! And to see your video business. Uncle Greggy was principal at – i don’t remember! I think it was Carver, but memory does not serve me well there. All of the institutions which served African Americans in New Orleans are being closed, destroyed, no investment for years, etc. I remember when Walter L. Cohen was one of the top high school in the city. I was amazed when I discovered how it has deteriorated. My great grandfathers Church where he was the priest – St. Luke’s Episcopal is either gone or on its way out. Its history will go with it. He came to New Orleans from Texas with a doctorate in theology received in 1906 – who knew Blacks had such degrees – history doesn’t. He brought St. Luke’s from a mission to a parish church and I heard they were now trying to ‘merge’ it with a White church. That will end its history and its endowment. When I was last in New Orleans St. Luke’s had a $1,000,000 endowment which my grandfather worked to procure. First the diocese took it and then after a fight who knows where it went.

    I am sure your memories are strong. Hope you are writing and documenting them. Your video projects are tremendous. Keep up the good work. Come to Boston one day soon.
    Cookie

  4. Cookie, I remember you well, although I’m sure you don’t know who I am.
    Maurice, Of course I remember you!
    I am loving CreoleGen. What a treasure!

    • Hi Dan, The L.V.C. is the initials for my full name…Lolita Villavasso Cherrie. We generally do not place our full names under our articles, only our initials. You can find this under the section entitled, “About Us”

      Since there is no index to all the Louisiana Weekly articles, it can become very overwhelming and time consuming. I basically have to go page by page through each weekly publication to find articles that interest me, unless I have a date of when an event took place. If you need to reach me, please email to Lolitac454@aol.com. I’ll be glad to answer any of your questions, if I can. Thanks !!

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