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Arts & Culture

Special TriPod program delves into New Orleans’ historic relationship with Haiti

TriPod producer Laine Kaplan-Levenson (left) interviews Jean-Hervé Paul (right), co-director of a school, the Collège Canapé-Vert, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In the center is André Paultre, driver and interpreter for TriPod’s research travel in Haiti.";s:3:

Tune in Friday October 27 at 1pm  or Wednesday November 1 at 7pm

Once there was a slave uprising so epic, it led Napoleon to sell Louisiana to the United States, and brought thousands of refugees to New Orleans, doubling the city's population in just a few months.  The Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), the only successful slave rebellion in the Americas, had a dramatic and lasting effect on New Orleans and North America.  Today many New Orleanians, black and white, trace their ancestral roots to Haiti.  The Caribbean nation remains an important part of the story New Orleans tell about itself.  But is New Orleans a part of Haitian history?  Is the feeling mutual?  TriPod sent producer Laine Kaplan-Levenson to find out.

As part of WWNO's innovative New Orleans Tricentennial history series, TriPod: New Orleans at 300, the station will broadcast a special program, "Haiti and New Orleans: Is the Feeling Mutual?" on Friday, October 27.  The one-hour program will air at 1:00pm, and will be repeated the following Wednesday evening, November 1, at 7:00pm.

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 is produced in collaboration with the University of New Orleans' Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies and The Historic New Orleans Collection.  TriPod takes a fresh approach to New Orleans history, exploring lost, neglected, or misunderstood aspects of our past, questioning what we think we know about where we live.  Now in its third season, TriPod episodes are usually ten minutes long, compelling and rich with sound, airing locally during NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and as a podcast available on iTunes. 

Producer Laine Kaplan-Levenson explained how this special TriPod episode came about:  "Throughout the past two seasons of TriPod, one place kept coming up in my research and interviews: Haiti.  Haiti played a major role in New Orleans' development, so I wanted to tell the story of this historic relationship, make space for the Haitian perspective, and find out what it means to the people of both places today."  To produce "Haiti and New Orleans" Laine spent two weeks traveling throughout the country conducting interviews.  The trip was supported by WWNO and the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University through the Global South Fellowship program.

Following the "Haiti and New Orleans" premiere, TriPod will return to its regular weekly broadcast schedule: Thursdays at 8:30am and Mondays at 6:35pm. The podcast is available on iTunes, and archived episodes can be read and heard at

TriPod: New Orleans at 300 has won two Regional Edward R. Murrow awards for Excellence in Writing, and was named Best Radio Show of 2017 by the New Orleans Press Club.  NPR's Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep has called  TriPod a "fantastic podcast."

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