Louisiana is a state riddled with southern antiquity and lore. This bayou state, nestled on the Gulf of Mexico, is a diverse place to live and has a long and rich African history that has withstood the tests of time. The first Africans were brought to Louisiana during its French period in 1719 and since, men and women of color have made an astounding impact on the state. Louisiana is also known for its many Creole communities and the merging of African, Caribbean, Spanish and French cultures.
If you’re looking for historic, African American homes in Louisiana that offer a step back in time, check out these dwellings below.
The Dr. John Harvey Lowery Home
Just one generation removed from slavery, Dr. John Harvey Lowery received his medical degree from New Orleans University in 1894 and began his life as a physician. He is said to be the first Black doctor in the entire state. His former home in Donaldsonville, Louisiana is undergoing major renovations to restore it to its glory. The dwelling is said to have been built around 1890. Dr. Lowery brought the home in 1895 and later sold it to his daughter, Evelyn. Although weather worn and quite damaged, the residence will soon be restored to its original glory thanks to the Louisiana Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Arna Bontemps Home
Arna Bontemps was a poet and author born in Alexandria, Louisiana in 1902. He is considered a major authority from the Harlem Renaissance era. His Alexandria home was restored into the first African American museum in Louisiana. The home is a small, white bungalow style dwelling that is raised, typical of Louisiana homes built to combat flooding.
The Jeanette Ross May Home
Located in Crowley, Louisiana, this home belonged to Janette Ross Mae and her husband David. Mr. May was one of the first Black aldermen of the state in 1954 along with Joseph A. Pete Sr. The couple were both active in civic, religious, political and educational organizations. The small white, craftsman style bungalow has been added to the historic registry. Jeanette was a schoolteacher, David also taught math and industrial arts in the town before he became alderman.