Leco examines the culture of the West Bank of New Orleans and her Sicilian, Filipino, and Cajun French heritage. Opening with a detailed ethnographic description of a typical scene in the West Bank Walmart parking lot, Leco frames her thoughts about her hometown of Marrero, Louisiana. In conversations with her parents, Leco learns about her family’s immigration stories, occupations, and foodways. Leco’s paternal great-grandfather was a first generation Filipino-American who lived and worked in Manila Village, a Filipino fishing community on an island in Barataria Bay. Leco then describes her religious upbringing, the Immaculate Conception Parish community, and the cultural traditions of the feast of Saint Joseph.
Adama Evans interviews her father Harold Evans to elicit similarities and differences in their experiences growing up in New Orleans. Harold was raised in the 7th Ward during the 1950s where he graduated from Joseph S. Clark High School. After serving in the Air Force in Vietnam, he worked as a mental health counselor in the Desire Florida Counseling Center. Harold tells Adama about attending segregated schools, childhood games, foodways, music, the 7th ward community, and recreation at Lincoln Beach. Adama then reflects on her own experiences growing up in New Orleans during the 1990s focusing on recreation, her difficulties in high school, and the inequities of the New Orleans school system.
Lyndsey Neubel reflects on her upbringing in Slidell, Louisiana and her Sicilian family’s roots in the New Orleans area. Using frameworks of critical whiteness, she examines how the suburban environment of Slidell shaped her sense of self and heritage. Neubel’s grandfather tells her about their family’s immigration story, his Sicilian-American identity, and family life in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. Nuebel explores how racism, segregation, and white flight shaped urban space and the suburbanization of the North Shore. She then analyzes how these sociocultural dynamics affected her preconceptions about New Orleans when she began attending the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts to study dance.
Nätell take readers on a tour of the Scandinavian Jazz Church and Cultural Center, formerly known as the Norwegian Seaman’s Church. Reflecting on her childhood memories, she gives a rich description of the church interior and social dynamics. Nätell explains the Lucia Day celebration that blends Scandinavian, Italian, and New Orleans cultural traditions.
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