Faubourg Tremé

Faubourg Tremé

The Untold Story of Black New Orleans

DVD - 2008
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Long ago during slavery, Faubourg Tremé was home to the largest community of free black people in the Deep South and a hotbed of political ferment. Here black and white, free and enslaved, rich and poor co-habitated, collaborated, and clashed to create much of what defines New Orleans culture up to the present day. Founded as a suburb (or faubourg in French) of the original colonial city, the neighborhood developed during French rule and many families like the Trevignes kept speaking French as their first language until the late 1960s. Tremé was the home of the Tribune, the first black daily newspaper in the US. During Reconstruction, activists from Tremé pushed for equal treatment under the law and for integration. And after Reconstruction's defeat, a "Citizens Committee" legally challenged the resegregation of public transportation resulting in the infamous Plessy vs. Ferguson Supreme Court case. New Orleans Times Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie bought a historic house in Tremé in the 1990s when the area was struggling to recover from the crack epidemic. Rather than flee the blighted inner city, Elie begins renovating his dilapidated home and in the process becomes obsessed with the area's mysterious and neglected past. Shot largely before Hurricane Katrina and edited afterwards, the film is both celebratory and elegiac in tone.


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Dec 27, 2014

Logsdon and Elie’s look at their colourful New Orleans neighbourhood is at once a love letter, a meticulously documented history, and a fierce indictment of those forces which are slowly destroying it.....namely poverty and governmental indifference. Faubourg Treme was the site of many milestones in Black American history.....including a short-lived but hugely successful civil rights movement that predated Rosa Parks’ historical bus ride by almost 100 years. After hurricane Katrina it was practically wiped out but now, thanks to a few determined residents, it is slowly being rebuilt although its future still remains far from certain. Incisive, intelligent and skillfully made.....definitely worth watching for on television.

judithonyc Apr 25, 2013

Fabulous film!


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