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Showcasing the History of African-American Leadership in New Orleans

February 10, 2021
Tamara Wyre
Tamara Wyre

African-American New Orleanians have long sustained a rich legacy of creating community and opportunity for local African Americans and Greater New Orleans. We are honored to partner with the Amistad Research Center—the nation’s oldest, largest, and most comprehensive independent archive of America's ethnic and racial history—to help share a 100-year story of how Black-owned and run businesses, organizations, and institutions helped grow New Orleans’ future despite societal inequities of the day.


“The Things We Do for Ourselves: African American Leadership in New Orleans,” a permanent virtual exhibit drawn from Amistad’s vast archives and collections, tells an incredible saga of struggle and success while documenting how the Crescent City has benefited from African American leadership and engagement from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s.


Amistead Research Center 

New Orleans African-American leaders—many whose family names still ring familiar across the city and nation—championed civil rights and filled voids in myriad services and resources for African-American New Orleanians during segregation in the United States. From benevolent, civic, social, economic, and political organizations to businesses, medical and educational facilities, and landmark eateries and entertainment venues, many New Orleans African Americans’ achievements garnered national attention for innovation and became forerunners for some of the city’s most renowned institutions.


“The Things We Do for Ourselves” offers an inspiring, unique educational experience aligned with our core values and fostering appreciation of African-American contributions to the diverse and distinctive culture that distinguishes New Orleans and the Gulf South. As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we introduced this virtual exhibit to our associates across five states as we commemorate Black History Month.


We embrace a mission to help people achieve their goals and dreams. We come to work every day to pursue our purpose—to help create opportunities for people and the communities we serve. “The Things We Do for Ourselves” showcases the pivotal roles outstanding African Americans from New Orleans and the Southern region played in creating opportunities that helped people in their communities achieve their dreams while significantly influencing the heart and soul of one of world’s most exciting and culturally diverse cities.


To view the virtual exhibit now, visit https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/the-things-we-do-for-ourselves%C2%A0/oQLyPrq-_l25Kw.


To find out more about Hancock Whitney’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, visit https://www.hancockwhitney.com/insights and https://www.hancockwhitney.com/diversity-equity-and-inclusion.