Online collection honors African American leadership, contributions to New Orleans Community
NEW ORLEANS (February 8, 2021)—African-American New Orleanians have long sustained a rich legacy of creating community and opportunity for local African Americans and Greater New Orleans. A new partnership between Hancock Whitney—one of America’s strongest, safest banks—and the Amistad Research Center—the nation’s oldest, largest, and most comprehensive independent archive of America's ethnic and racial history—virtually brings to life a 100-year story of how Black-owned and run businesses, organizations, and institutions helped to grow New Orleans’ future despite societal inequities of the day.
A virtual exhibit drawn from Amistad’s vast archives and collections, “The Things We Do for Ourselves: African American Leadership in New Orleans” documents how the Crescent City has benefited from African American leadership and engagement from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s. This permanent exhibit uses Google Cultural Institute’s exhibition platform to create a virtual expansion of a physical exhibition at the Amistad Research Center in 2015.
Hancock Whitney leaders said the partnership aligns with the bank’s core values and fosters an appreciation of African-American contributions to the diverse, unique culture that distinguishes New Orleans.
“Hancock Whitney was founded to create opportunities for people and the communities we serve,” said Hancock Whitney Chief Executive Officer John M. Hairston. “We are committed to the diversity, equity, and inclusion so critical to sustaining the vibrant heart and soul of New Orleans and the Gulf South, and we are honored to partner with the Amistad Research Center to promote the incredible history of African-American leadership and engagement in New Orleans. This virtual exhibit provides a superb educational experience and showcases the pivotal roles outstanding African Americans from New Orleans played in taking care of their communities and in cementing foundations for one of world’s most exciting cities.”
“The Things We Do for Ourselves” uses detailed narratives and rare images to chronicle how 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.
“The Amistad Research Center is fortunate to work with individuals, families, and organizations to preserve the rich history of New Orleans’ African-American community and to place it in the context of larger national and international movements and events,” said Amistad Deputy Director Christopher Harter.
From benevolent, civic, social, economic, and political organizations to businesses, medical and educational facilities, and landmark eateries and entertainment venues, many the New Orleans African Americans’ achievements garnered national attention for innovation and became forerunners for some of the city’s most renowned institutions.
“Exhibitions and partnerships such as this,” said Executive Director of Amistad Dr. Kara T. Olidge, “help us provide access to these documents to the community, educators, and students.”
Hancock Whitney’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) division will introduce the virtual exhibit to the bank’s more than 4,000 associates across five states during Black History Month in February as a DEI educational experience and as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to racial diversity and inclusion.
To view the virtual exhibit now, visit https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/the-things-we-do-for-ourselves%C2%A0/oQLyPrq-_l25Kw
About Hancock Whitney
Since the late 1800s, Hancock Whitney has embodied core values of Honor & Integrity, Strength & Stability, Commitment to Service, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility. Hancock Whitney offices and financial centers in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas offer comprehensive financial products and services, including traditional and online banking; commercial and small business banking; private banking; trust and investment services; healthcare banking; certain insurance services; and mortgage services. The company also operates a loan production office in Nashville, Tennessee. BauerFinancial, Inc., the nation’s leading independent bank rating and analysis firm, consistently recommends Hancock Whitney as one of America’s most financially sound banks. More information is available at hancockwhitney.com.
About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Hancock Whitney
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are fundamental to the spirit of Hancock Whitney’s purpose. The company pledges exceptional service to clients and communities and believes the organization can best serve by resembling the communities where Hancock Whitney does business. The company believes in attracting, retaining, and promoting quality talent and recognizes that diversity makes the institution a stronger company. To find out more about Hancock Whitney’s commitment to DEI, visit www. https://www.hancockwhitney.com/insights.
About the Amistad Research Center
Housed in Tilton Memorial Hall at Tulane University, the Amistad Research Center is committed to collecting, preserving, and providing open access to original materials that reference the social and cultural importance of America's ethnic and racial history, the African Diaspora, and global social justice movements. As the nation's oldest, largest and most comprehensive independent archive, the Amistad's holds 800 manuscript collections which include over ten million documents from the 1780s to present, 250,000 original photographs dating from 1859, 1200 audiovisual recordings, 40,000 book titles, 2000 periodicals titles, and over 400 pieces of fine art dating from the 19th century.
Hancock Whitney Media Contact
Paul Maxwell, Senior Communications Officer