Battle of Liberty Place/White Supremacy monument


Battle of Liberty Place/White Supremacy monument
Memorialization of Urban Slavery in Southern Coastal Cities


slavery; memorials


This monument was originally erected in 1891, as a "memorial to white supremacy," to honor those whites who died in 1874, during the attack of the Crescent City White Leage (all whites) on the New Orleans Metropolitan Police (blacks and whites). As a result of the battle, the city sank into segregation. The memorial was put in storage in 1989 because of civil construction, but the White League threatened to sue New Orleans if the monument was not returned. It was returned, but put on a more historically accurate site, the site of the actual battle, which also happens to currently be in an obscure place on the south end of Canal Street. Interestingly, the orginal, racist inscription has also been covered up with a new inscription that honors both sides of the conflict. The monument is still highy controversial in New Orelans, and graffiti on its new inscription reads "Take Em Down," which in and of itself is quite obscure.
This project was funded by Bernard and Anne Spitzer Travel Fellowship for research projects involving travel abroad and incorporating the study of architecture, landscape architecture, or urbanism.
My goal was to research, witness, and record how each of my chosen Southern port cities has dealt with its past in regards to urban slavery, and to begin making a record of this history. Although all of the locations I visited were major hubs of the American slave trade, these cities remain mostly lacking in admitting their full and complete history. The inaccurate and incomplete narratives, lack of memorials, and white-washed histories designed to appeal to the tourist industry do not tell the stories of the slaves in an unbiased and forthright way. So much of what I witnessed revolved around a very racially divided tourist industry, but I know that change is possible. The story of urban slavery is not just the story of African Americans in the United States, but the story of all of us, and the more we can understand this, the better off we all will be.


Whang, Maura


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Whang, Maura


Architecture and City Planning




New Orleans, LA




Whang, Maura, “Battle of Liberty Place/White Supremacy monument,” Spitzer School of Architecture, accessed July 22, 2024,

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