New Orleans

Pontchartrain Park - How a new subdivision built in New Orleans in the mid 1950’s during the height of segregation brought momentous changes to the life of a black family

Pontchartrain Park - How a new subdivision built in New Orleans in the mid 1950’s during the height of segregation brought momentous changes to the life of a black family

In 1955, during this era of segregation, a subdivision for middle class and affluent African Americans was built in New Orleans. It was the only one of its kind built in the city and one of the first in the nation.

This subdivision, Pontchartrain Park, consisted of a horse shaped 83 acre golf course and Park surrounded by modern single family ranch style homes. The impact on this development gave blacks the realization that they too could also have a place in the sun.

The Eternal Flood

I went to New Orleans to be saved. During the summer the days were getting brighter and every flaw in my life incredibly vivid. Nothing in me felt real except a loud emptiness. When I saw New Orleans fall apart it was my chance to join a cause that was undeniably good. The poor were fighting against nature and losing. They were innocent and could cure my guilt but that shallow reason for going left me helpless against their hunger and desperation. I was an emotional carpetbagger, a Northerner going south to re-create himself.